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IN TWO SECTIONS— SECTION ONE 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 

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Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, JANUARY 6, 1945 No. 1 



The Implications of the U. S. Supreme Court Decision 

in the Crescent Case 



(Concluded from last wee\) 



Ever since the producers began to acquire theatres, 
creating large circuits of them, the heads of their 
theatre departments have felt that, since exhibition 
was not interstate commerce, they could employ any 
tactics in monopolizing the product and that they 
were not, therefore, violating any law. For instance, 
they would call up a film company and order it to 
withhold product from a competitor who had been 
getting that product for years, giving as their reason 
the fact that they would soon build a theatre in that 
town. They would enter into long-term franchises; 
would obtain selective contracts and never release 
the "unselected" films; would buy the building where 
their competitor had his theatre and, when the lease 
expired, would refuse to renew the lease so that they 
could operate the theatre themselves; would buy a 
vacant lot in a town and announce that such-and- 
such a circuit would build on that lot a modern 
theatre, thus frightening the existing exhibitor into 
selling his theatre to them, at times for a "song"; 
would impose upon their competitors clearance as to 
time and area altogether out of reason, with a view 
to harming the receipts of these competitors — they 
would commit these and many more abuses, on the 
theory that they were doing legitimate business. 

Independent theatre circuits, too, copied their 
methods until no small exhibitor was sure whether 
or not he would have product for the following sea- 
son. And the small exhibitor knew that, without 
product, his doom was sealed. 

The small independent producers and those of the 
film companies that operated no theatres were com- 
pelled to sell their product to the affiliated circuits, 
or to the larger independent circuits, under a threat 
of boycott. Those of the distributors that owned 
theatres, however, gladly cooperated with one an- 
other; they believed that, being the owners of the films 
and of the copyrights, they could either sell their 
product to an exhibitor or withhold it from him, de- 
pending at times on their own good judgment, at 
other times on their whims, and at still other on the 
amount of pressure applied by interested circuits. 

Most exhibitor circuit heads were, I am sure, honest 
in their belief that they were within their rights in 
imposing upon the distributors their terms with re- 
spect, not only to their own theatres, but also to the 
theatres of their competitors. As an example, let us 
take the case of Bob OTJ>onnell, of Interstate Circuit, 
Texas. On July 11, 1934, Mr. O'Donnell wrote to 
the branch managers of Paramount, Warner Bros., 



RKO, and to the branch managers of other distribu- 
tors the following letter, which was produced as evi- 
dence in the Interstate Case : 

"On April 25th, the writer notified you that in 
purchasing product for the coming season 34-35, it 
would be necessary for all distributors to take into 
consideration in the sale of subsequent runs that In- 
terstate Circuit, Inc., will not agree to purchase prod- 
uct to be exhibited in its "A" theatres at a price of 
40c or more for night admission, unless distributors 
agree that this "A" product will never be exhibited 
at any time or in any theatre at a smaller admission 
price than 25c for adults in the evening. 

"In addition to this price restriction, we also re- 
quest that on "A" pictures which are exhibited at a 
night admission price of 40c or more — they shall never 
be exhibited in conjunction with another feature pic- 
ture under the so-called policy of double-features. . . . 

"In the event that a distributor sees fit to sell his 
product to subsequent runs in violation of this re- 
quest, it definitely means that we cannot negotiate 
for his product to be exhibited in our "A" theatres 
at top admission prices. . . ." 

Now, who can question Bob O'Donnell's honesty? 
Not this writer, nor anyone else who knows Mr. 
O'Donnell. In writing this letter he had a construc- 
tive viewpoint — to uphold prices so that the pro- 
ducer might get a greater gross, enabling him to make 
bigger and better pictures, and to put an end to 
double features, at least on top features. And the dis- 
tributors, feeling that as owners of the copyrighted 
films they could dispose of them in any way they saw 
fit, acceded to Mr. O'DonnelFs demands. Neverthe- 
less, his action was in violation of the law, for to 
accomplish his purpose, he compelled the distributors 
to impose his will upon competing exhibitors, with 
the resultant tendency to suppress normal competi- 
tion. 

Long before the Interstate Case, where Bob O'Don- 
nells letter was criticized by the courts, Justice Rey- 
nolds, speaking for the U. S. Supreme Court in the 
famous Arbitration case, said : 

"It may be that arbitration is well adapted to the 
needs of the motion picture industry; but when under 
the guise of arbitration parties enter into unusual 
arrangements which unreasonably suppress normal 
competition their action becomes illegal. 

"In order to establish violation of the Sherman 
Act it is not necessary to show that the challenged 
(Continued on last page) 



2 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



January 6, 1945 



"Under Western Skies" with 
Noah Beery, Jr. and Martha O'Driscoll 

(Universal, January 19; time, 57 min.) 
Just a mediocre comedy with music, strictly for the 
lower-half of ;i mid-week double bill. The story is 
extremely weak, tiring one. It seems a pity to waste 
the talents of the players in anything so silly as this, 
for, in spite of their efforts, they are so handicapped 
by the poor material that they fail to make an impres- 
sion. One or two spots provoke laughter; but for the 
most part the antics of the characters are far from 
amusing. The best thing that can be said for it is that 
it has a few pleasing songs sung by Martha O'Dris- 
coll:— 

Traveling cast by stagecoach, Leon Errol's variety 
show is waylaid by Leo Carrillo and his desperadoes 
as they approach Rim Rock, Arizona. Carrillo de- 
mands a performance on the spot, but Martha O'Dris- 
coll, Errol's daughter, refuses. Admiring her spunk, 
Carrillo permits the troupe to continue on its way. 
At Rim Rock, the troupe encounters considerable 
opposition from the town's civic leaders, who refuse 
to let them appear in the Town Hall. Martha, deter- 
mined to prove that showfolk were decent people, 
arranges for a performance in the Silver Dollar saloon. 
Meanwhile, she becomes interested in Noah Beery, 
Jr., the town school teacher. That night, the show is 
interrupted by the sudden appearance of Carrillo's 
gang, and the performance turns into a free-for-all 
brawl. On Sunday, Martha persuades the troupe to 
attend church. The services are interrupted by two of 
Carrillo's henchmen who kidnap Martha and take 
her to the outlaw's hideout in the hills. Carrillo in- 
forms Martha that he merely wanted to say goodbye, 
having decided to reform his ways. Carrillo's men, 
shocked by this decision, turn on him. He starts shoot- 
ing it out with the gang just as Beery arrives to rescue 
Martha. Between them, Beery and Carrillo wipe out 
the outlaws. Carrillo clears out, leaving Beery with 
seven bodies to dispose of. Appalled by the thought 
of the townspeople's reaction to his deed, Beery per- 
suades Sheriff Irving Bacon, who was about to lose 
his badge because he could not shoot straight, to take 
credit for wiping out the gang. It all ends with Bacon 
being reinstated to office with honor, and with Beery 
and Martha getting married. 

" Stanley Roberts and Clyde Bruckman wrote the 
screen play, Warren Wilson produced it, and Jean 
Yarbrough directed it. The cast includes Ian Keith, 
Jennifer Holt and others. 
Unobjectionable morally. 

"They Shall Have Faith" with 
Gale Storm and John Mack Brown 

(Monogram, January 26; time, 83 min.) 
This well-made drama has the ingredients for mass 
appeal in that it has deep human interest, amusing 
comedy, and good performances. In addition, it has 
some outstanding musical interludes. Except for the 
subject matter — infantile paralysis, neither the story 
nor its treatment is particularly novel, but it holds 
one's interest well because of the sympathy one feels 
for the characters. Gale Storm, as the fun-loving but 
charitable young socialite who is stricken by the 
disease, gives a very competent performance, making 
the most of her opportunities to display her talents 



both dramatically and musically. A light touch is 
provided by Frank Craven, as Gale's inebriated but 
understanding uncle, by Mary Boland, as his watch- 
ful wife, and by C. Aubrey Smith, as Gale's grumpy 
but loveable grandfather. The production values are 
very good: — 

Gale, popular young daughter of Conrad Nagel, a 
prominent physician, busies herself daily doing kindly 
deeds for hospitalized children and wounded service- 
men. When John Mack Brown, her father's former 
pupil and a major in the Army, visits her home to dis- 
cuss with Nagel a new treatment for infantile paraly- 
sis, Gale finds herself attracted to the young doctor, 
in spite of the fact that she planned to marry Johnny 
Downs, her childhood sweetheart. Nagel arranges for 
Brown to continue his experiments in a local hospital. 
One night, when Gale and Johnny appear at a war 
bond show in a specialty dance act, Gale collapses on 
the dance floor and is taken home to bed. An examina- 
tion discloses that she had been stricken with infan- 
tile paralysis. When her father and grandfather, 
himself a famed doctor, fail to help her by the use of 
splints and braces, Gale loses hope of ever becoming 
well again. Downs and Frank Craven, her uncle, ap- 
peal to Brown to take charge of the case and to apply 
his new treatment. Brown, eager to be of service, finds 
himself opposed by Gale's grandfather, who felt that 
the young doctor's new technique had not yet been 
proved. When Gale learns of the situation, she gives 
Brown her own permission to experiment on her. The 
operation is a complete success, and Gale regains the 
use of her limbs. As Brown prepares to leave on an- 
other assignment, he and Gale declare their love for 
each other. 

William Nigh and George Sayre wrote the screen 
play, Jeffrey Bernard produced it, and Mr. Nigh di- 
rected it. The cast includes Leo Diamond and His 
Harmonaires, and others. 

Morally suitable for all. 



"Castle of Crimes" with Keneth Kent 
and Diana Churchill 

(PRC, December 22; time, 60 min.) 

This British-made murder-mystery melodrama is 
moderately entertaining program fare. While there 
is nothing exceptional about the story or its treatment, 
it holds one's interest to a fair degree, offering a num- 
ber of thrills. Mystery picture fans should find it ade- 
quately mystifying, despite its tendency to lag in 
certain situations. Not much can be said for the per- 
formances; there is too much posturing on the part 
of the players. The production tone is good : — 

When Louise Hampton, a wealthy widow, dies 
mysteriously at her French villa, Keneth Kent, a 
famous but egotistical French detective, is assigned to 
solve the murder. Kent learns that the widow had 
been murdered with a deadly poison, and among the 
suspects he finds Diana Churchill, the dead woman's 
niece, who appeared quite anxious to collect her 
legacy; Belle Chrystall, Diana's secretary-companion, 
who had been discharged by the widow on the night 
before her death; and an anonymous letter- writer who 
had been trying to blackmail the widow for indiscre- 
tions she had committed as a young woman. Deciding 
that the murderer and the letter-writer were the same 
person, Kent, aided by Peter Murray-Hill, a young 



January 6, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



3 



attorney who was in love with Belle, methodically 
goes about gathering clues until he becomes convinced 
that Diana had committed the murder out of fear that 
her aunt would cut her off from her will. To prove 
Diana's guilt and to get her to confess, Kent de- 
liberately builds up a case against Belle to make it 
appear as if he suspected her. Diana, misled by Kent's 
motives, tries to further the hypothetical case against 
Belle, but she succeeds only in setting a trap for her- 
self. Desperate, she makes an attempt on Belle's life, 
but Kent's timely interference prevents her from 
committing a second murder. 

Doreen Montgomery wrote the screen play, A. E. 
W. Mason produced it, and Harold French directed 
it. The cast includes Clifford Evans, Catherine Lacey 
and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Rogues Gallery" with Robin Raymond 
and Frank Jenks 

(PRC, December 6; time, 58 min.) 

A mildly entertaining program murder mystery 
melodrama with comedy situations, parts of which 
are pretty silly. Since the comedy is stressed, the spec 
tator finds it difficult to take the melodramatic angle 
seriously. Moreover, the outcome is obvious and, al- 
though the murderer is not identified until the finish, 
it is simple for one to guess his identity long before 
then. Robin Raymond, as the quick-witted girl- 
reporter, is a pert type, but she overacts her part. 
The story is far-fetched, and it unfolds in an un- 
believable way :— 

Sent to the Emmerson Foundation to interview 
H. B. Warner, inventor of a revolutionary listening 
device, Robin Raymond, a reporter for the Daily 
Express, and Frank Jenks, a news photographer, ar- 
rive just as a mysterious intruder attacks the inven- 
tor and steals the invention's blueprints. Robin re- 
covers the blueprints in a scuffle with the intruder, 
who escapes. She uses the prints to obtain an exclu- 
sive story about the invention from Davison Clark, 
head of the Foundation, and his committeemen. As 
Jenks prepares to take a group picture, Ray Walker, 
a rival reporter and nephew of Clark's arrives on the 
scene. Just then, the lights go out mysteriously, a 
shot is fired, and one of the committeemen is found 
dead. Police Capt. Robert Homans hurries to the 
house only to find that the murdered man's body had 
disappeared; he accuses Robin and Jenks of trickery 
for the purpose of printing a sensational story. Later, 
Robin and Jenks find the missing body in their car 
only to have it disappear again when they take it to 
the police. Discharged by their editor for using a 
murder story that could not be proved, Robin and 
Jenks start on an investigation of their own. They re- 
turn to Warner's laboratory, where the scientist 
demonstrates his invention — a device capable of pick- 
ing up conversations without a radio hook-up. Dur- 
ing the demonstration, they tune in on Clark's home 
and hear a stranger threatening him. They rush to the 
house and arrive in time to save Clark. After a series 
of incidents in which Warner is murdered and the 
blueprints disappear, Robin and Jenks, through a 
recording made with the invention, uncover Walker, 
the rival reporter, as the criminal. 



John T. Neville wrote the screen play, Donald C. 
McKean and Albert Herman produced it, and Mr. 
Herman directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"This Man's Navy" with Wallace Beery, 
Tom Drake and James Gleason 

(MGM, no release date set; time, 100 min.) 

This service comedy-melodrama offers plentiful 
human appeal, but it is somewhat over-sentimental 
and its running time is much too long for the story 
it has to tell. It should, however, please the Wallace 
Beery fans, as well as the action fans who are not too 
exacting in their demands, for it has a number of excit- 
ing sequences of the type to hold one in suspense. The 
Navy's lighter-than-air branch serves as the back- 
ground for the story and, since the Navy cooperated 
in the production, some of the action seems realistic. 
Considerable laughter is provoked by the friendly 
feud between Beery and James Gleason, both Naval 
veterans, as a result of Beery 's trying to pass off a 
young farm boy as his son in order to match Glea- 
son's bragging about his own son. A thrilling sequence 
is the one in which Beery pilots a blimp through ter- 
ritory infested with Jap planes so that he could rescue 
his psuedo-son, who had been shot down in the 
Burma jungle. The romantic interest is pleasant but 
unimportant :— 

Not to be outdone by Chief Machinist's Mate 
James Gleason, who bragged about his son's exploits, 
Wallace Beery, Chief Aviation Pilot at the Lakehurst 
Blimp Station, invents a son for himself and tells Glea- 
son tall tales about the boy. A few days later, Beery 
meets Tom Drake, who lived with his widowed mother 
(Selena Royle) on a farm nearby. He encourages the 
boy to join the lighter-than-air service only to discover 
that he was a cripple. Beery arranges for a successful 
operation on Tom's leg, enabling him to join the ser- 
vice. Grateful, Tom allows Beery to pretend that he 
was his father. Beery drives the boy hard in training 
so that he would live up to his boasts. Tom becomes an 
officer and, one day, while out on patrol, he sights a 
Nazi submarine. Naval headquarters radios the blimp 
to leave the attack to planes, but Beery, eager to see 
Tom become a hero, falsifies the orders and advises 
Tom to attack. The young man sinks the submarine. 
Lest Tom be courtmartialed for disobeying orders, 
Beery accepts the blame. Tom is decorated as a hero, 
but the men at the station ostracize him for allowing 
Beery to cover up for him. Discouraged, Tom asks for 
and receives a transfer to the ferry command. Beery, 
unable to change Tom's mind, quarrels with him. 
Months later, Beery and his blimp outfit are sent to 
the Burma frontier. There, he learns that Tom had 
been shot down in the Burma jungles, and that there 
was a chance to rescue him before Japanese ground 
troops reached him. He requests and is given permis- 
sion to save the boy. Piloting his blimp through stiff 
Japanese fighter plane opposition, Beery manages to 
effect Tom's rescue. Both are decorated for their 
heroism. 

Borden Chase wrote the screen play, Samuel Marx 
produced it, and William A. Wellman directed it. 
The cast includes Jan Clayton, Noah Beery, Sr., 
Henry O'Neill and others. 

Morally suitable for all. 



4 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



January 6, 1945 



arrangement suppresses all competition between the 
parties or that the parties themselves are discontented 
with the arrangement. The interest of the public in 
the preservation of competition is the primary consid- 
eration. The prohibition of the statute cannot 'be 
evaded by good motives. The law is its own measure 
of right and wrong, of what it permits, or forbids, 
and the judgment of the courts cannot be set up 
against it in a supposed accommodation of its policy 
with the good intention of the parties, and it may be, 
of some good results.'' . . ." 

As regards to the belief of the distributors that, 
being the copyright owners, they may dispose of their 
copyrighted articles the way they see fit, Judge Atwell 
settled that matter well in his famous decision, af- 
firmed by the U. S. Supreme Court, in the Interstate 
Case. He stated : 

"This well-defined right, however, will not justify 
his [the copyright owner's] agreeing or combining 
with another person in order to deprive a third person 
of a complete freedom of contract. The copyright 
statute and the anti-trust statute are both in effect 
and vitally necessary . . ." 

In order to make the meaning of this statement of 
his clear, Judge Atwell added : 

"The owner of the copyrighted article may con- 
tract with the exhibitor, without the intervention of 
any third mind, for full and free protection, both as 
to price and manner of use, but when the outside 
mind, with an interest to serve, steps into the picture 
— the contracting room — and interjects, persuades 
and coerces the copyright owner to join with it in 
its protection, as against the party to whom the copy- 
right holder is selling or contracting, then and in 
that event there are two or more persons engaged 
on the side of the copyright holder, when the law 
gives only one privileges or immunities. Such a 
unity of minds, if it be in restraint of interstate com- 
merce, is illegal. The copyright privileges do not save 
it from illegality ..." 

Any person who has studied the U. S. Supreme 
Court's decision in the Crescent case cannot help 
coming to the conclusion that, to some degree, thea- 
tre divorcement has been accomplished without the 
introduction of a bill in Congress. What would a 
bill separating exhibition from production-distribu- 
tion accomplish? To make it impossible for the thea- 
tre-owning producer-distributors to employ their 
buying power to withhold choice product from the 
independents. The U. S. Supreme Court's decision, 
in the opinion of competent legal authority whom 
this paper has consulted, seems to do that, for here- 
after no affiliated circuit can employ either its buying 
power or its influence to prevent the independent 
exhibitor from competing for film on equal terms with 
the affiliated circuit. 

Yes, in the opinion of this authority, the U. S. 
Supreme Court's decision goes further than that: 
it puts also the independent circuits, both big and 
small, in the same category as the affiliated circuits. 
In other words, the head of a circuit consisting of 
fifty theatres cannot prevent an exhibitor who owns 
a single theatre from competing with him for film on 
an equal basis. 

Harrison's Reports cannot at this time say 
whether the U. S. Supreme Court decision in the 
Crescent case will bring about any radical changes 
in the selling system within the industry; it merely 
presents the facts and the opinions of a lawyer who 
has been correct in his opinion in other cases. 



For instance, based on his opinion concerning the 
Interstate Case, in which Judge Atwell found both 
distributors and exhibitors guilty of having violated 
the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, Harrison's Reports, 
in its June 4, 1938 issue, in the second paragraph of 
an editorial under the heading, "Another Blow at 
the Producers," said : 

"In accordance with the recommendation of the 
U. S. Supreme Court, Judge Atwell, the District 
Judge who tried the case, has just made formal find- 
ings. These must have shocked the master strategists 
of the producers; they are so sweeping that it is 
doubtful whether the defendants will take an ap- 
peal. If they should take such an appeal, all they 
could possibly accomplish would be to add the U. S. 
Supreme Court's approval to the damaging findings 
and decree of the Dallas District Court . . ." 

According to this prediction, the U. S. Supreme 
Court, by a decision handed down on Monday, Feb- 
ruary 13, 1939, upheld Judge Atwell. 

In the Crescent case, this counsel again made a 
prediction. In the editorial that was printed in the 
July 24, 1943, issue of Harrison's Reports, the 
following statement was made in the last paragraph 
of the second column in the front page: 

"In the first place, unless a cross-appeal should be 
filed by Crescent, the Supreme Court will not look 
into the merits of the entire case, but will limit its 
inquiry to the one question presented by the Govern- 
ment's appeal, namely, whether or not the decree 
should be modified by inserting the prohibition 
against further acquisition of theatres — and nothing 
more. And, while on the subject of cross-appeals, this 
paper believes that Crescent will not file any cross- 
appeal. The case seems to be too strongly in favor 
of the Government to hold forth much hope for a 
complete reversal. Hence, if Crescent should appeal, 
and thus ask the Supreme Court to examine into the 
entire case, the result might well be an affirmance of 
Judge Davies' decision relating to the violation of 
the anti- trust laws. In that event, the rulings pro- 
nounced by Judge Davies would be applicable, not 
only to the Crescent situation, but also to the other 
pending anti-trust suits, as well as to competitive 
situations throughout the country. Crescent no doubt 
recalls and will profit by the Interstate Case, where 
the same thing occurred . . ." 

Crescent and its advisors did not heed that warn- 
ing, and the result is that the U. S. Supreme Court's 
decision is now the law of the land. 

The methods that Crescent employed in crushing 
its competitors were too bold and too unfair for any 
conscientious judge to overlook. On the back page of 
the June 5, 1943, issue of Harrison's Reports, 
there was printed a list of prices that Crescent paid 
to the distributors that startled every exhibitor in the 
land. Rentals as low as $3.90 were accepted by some 
distributors, and no price was ever equal to what 
other exhibitors, not connected with Crescent, paid. 
And Crescent's competitors could not obtain choice 
film and better runs, no matter how much more they 
were willing to pay, for Crescent employed its buy- 
ing power to prevent that. 

Reforms have always been obtained when oppres- 
sors went too far. And every reader will admit that, 
because of Crescent's attitude, relief has now been 
obtained by every exhibitor who wants to play fair. 
Free and open competition is now assured to all 
buyers of film. 



IN TWO SECTIONS—; 

HARRISON'S 



SECTION TWO 

REPORTS 



Vol. XXVII NEW YORK, N. Y., SATURDAY, JANUARY 6, 1945 No. 1 

(Semi-Annual Index — Second Half of 1944) 



Titles of Pictures Reviewed on Page 

A Wave, A Wac 6? A Marine — Monogram (80 min.) . 115 
Abroad with Two Yanks — United Artists (79 min.) . . 123 
Adventures of Kitty O'Day — Monogram (64 min.) . . . 19? 

Alaska — Monogram (76 min.) 208 

An American Romance — MGM (151 min.) 106 

And Now Tomorrow — Paramount (85 min.) 172 

Arms and the Woman — Columbia (see "Mr. Winkle 

Goes to War") 1944 118 

Army Wives — Monogram (69 min.) 183 

Arsenic and Old Lace — Warner Bros. (118 min.) 143 

Atlantic City — Republic (86 min.) 127 

Babes on Swing Street — Universal (70 min.) 154 

Barbary Coast Gent — MGM (87 min.) 126 

Belle of the Yukon— RKO (85 min.) 194 

Between Two Women — MGM (83 min.) 208 

Big Noise, The — 20th Century-Fox (74 min.) 154 

Black Magic — Monogram (65 min.) 114 

Block Busters — Monogram (61 min.) 114 

Blonde Fever— MGM (69 min.) 190 

Bluebeard— PRC (73 min.) 166 

Bordertown Trail — Republic (56 min.) not reviewed 

Bowery Champs — Monogram (62 min.) 174 

Bowery to Broadway — Universal (95 min.) 174 

Brand of the Devil — PRC (61 min.) not reviewed 

Brazil— Republic (91 min.) 175 

Bride By Mistake— RKO (81 min.) 122 

Can't Help Singing — Universal (89 min.) 206 

Carolina Blues — Columbia (80 min.) 163 

Casanova Brown — RKO (93 min.) 127 

Cheyenne Wildcat — Republic (56 min.) not reviewed 

Climax, The — Universal (86 min.) 159 

Code of the Prairie — Republic (56 min.) . . . .not reviewed 

Conspirators, The — Warner Bros. (102) . . ., 167 

Contender, The— PRC ( 66 min. ) 118 

Cowboy from Lonesome River — Columbia 

(55 min.) not reviewed 

Crazy Knights — Monogram (62 min.) 202 

Crime By Night — Warner Bros. (73 min.) 123 

Cry of the Werewolf — Columbia (64 min.) 135 

Cyclone Prairie Rangers — Columbia (56 m.) . not reviewed 

Dancing in Manhattan — Columbia (61 min.) 202 

Dangerous Journey — 20th CenturyFox (73 min.)... 132 
Dangerous Mists — Columbia (see "U-Boat Prisoner") 

1944 110 

Dangerous Passage — Paramount (62 min.) 208 

Dark Mountain — Paramount (56 min.) 142 

Dark Waters— United Artists (90 min.) 179 

Dead Man's Eyes — Universal (64 min.) 151 

Dead or Alive — -PRC (56 min.) not reviewed 

Delinquent Daughters — PRC (72 min.) 118 

Destiny — Universal (65 min.) 198 

Dixie Jamboree— PRC (71 min.) 110 

Double Exposure — Paramount (64 min.) 206 

Doughgirls, The — Warner Bros. (102 min.) 142 

Dragon Seed— MGM (145 min.) 119 

End of the Road— Republic (51 min.) 183 

Enemy of Women — Monoeram (87 min.) 146 

Enter Arsene Lupin — Universal (72 min.) 187 

Ever Since Venus — Columbia (73 min.) 182 

Experiment Perilous — RKO (91 min.) 198 

Faces in the Fog — Republic (71 min.) 170 

Falcon in Hollywood, The— RKO (68 min.) 194 

Falcon in Mexico, The— RKO (70 min.) 124 

Farewell My Lovely — RKO (96 min.) 198 

Firebrands of Arizona — Republic (56 min.). .not reviewed 

Frenchman's Creek — Paramount (113 min.) 155 

Fuzzy Settles Down — PRC (60 min.) not reviewed 

Gangsters of the Frontier — PRC (58 m.) not reviewed 

Gentle Annie— MGM (80 min.) 207 

Ghost Guns — Monogram (60 min.) not reviewed 



Girl Rush, The— RKO (66 min.) 171 

Girl Who Dared, The— Republic (56 min.) 107 

Goin' to Town— RKO (70 min.) 160 

Great Mike, The— PRC (71 min.) 167 

Greenwich Village — 20th Century-Fox (83 min.) 130 

Guest in the House — United Artists (117 min.) 199 

Gypsy Wildcat — Universal (75 min.) 130 

Heavenly Days— RKO (72 min.) 126 

Here Come the Waves — Paramount (99 min.) 206 

Hi' Beautiful — Universal (65 min.) 186 

Hollywood Canteen — Warner Bros. (124 min.) 200 

House of Frankenstein — Universal (70 min.) 207 

I Accuse My Parents — PRC (69 min.) 182 

I'll Be Seeing You — United Artists (85 min.) 211 

I'm from Arkansas — PRC (68 min.) 190 

Impatient Years, The — Columbia (90 min.) 154 

In Rosie's Room — Republic (See "Rosie, the Riveter") . 51 

In Society — Universal (73 min.) 130 

In the Meantime, Darling — 20th Century-Fox (72 m.) .154 
Irish Eyes Are Smiling — 20th Century-Fox (90 m.)..162 

Janie — Warner Bros. (101 min.) 124 

Jungle Woman — Universal (60 min.) 107 

Kansas City Kitty — Columbia (72 min.) 135 

Keys of the Kingdom, The — 20th Century-Fox ( 137 m.) . 203 
Kismet — MGM (100 min.) 138 

Lake Placid Serenade — Republic (85 min.) 208 

Land of the Outlaws — Monogram (60 min.) . .not reviewed 
Last Horseman, The — Columbia (54 min.) . . .not reviewed 

Last Ride, The — Warner Bros. (57 min.) 151 

Laura — 20th Century-Fox (88 min.) 168 

Leave It To the Irish — Monogram (61 min.) 114 

Lights of Old Sante Fe — Republic (78 m.) . . .not reviewed 
Lost in a Harem — MGM (89 min.) 144 

Machine Gun Mama — PRC (62 min.) Ill 

Mile. Fifi— RKO (69 min.) 122 

Main Street After Dark — MGM (57 min.) 194 

Maisie Goes to Reno — MGM (90 min.) 131 

Man in Half Moon Street, The — Paramount (92 m.) . . 170 

Marked Trails — Monogram (59 min.) not reviewed 

Mark of the Whistler — Columbia (60 min.) 178 

Marriage is a Private Affair — MGM (116 min.) 134 

Master Race, The— RKO (97 min.) 155 

Meet Me in St. Louis— MGM (113 min.) 178 

Meet Miss Bobby Socks — Columbia (68 min.) 186 

Men of the Sea — PRC (49 min.) 120 

Merry Monahans, The — Universal (91 min.) 134 

Ministry of Fear — Paramount (84 min.) 172 

Minstrel Man — PRC (68 min.) 106 

Missing Juror, The — Columbia (67 min.) 182 

Moonlight and Cactus— Universal (60 min.) 170 

Mr. Winkle Goes to War — Columbia (77 min.) 118 

Mrs. Parkington — MGM (124 min.) 156 

Mummy's Curse, The — Universal (60 min.) 210 

Mummy's Ghost, The — Universal (60 min.) Ill 

Murder in the Blue Room — Universal (61 min.) 174 

Murder in Thornton Square, The — MGM 

(See "Gaslight") 78 

Murder, My Sweet — RKO (see "Farewell, My Lovely") 

1944 198 

Music for Millions— MGM (118 min.) 203 

Music in Manhattan — RKO (81 min.) 123 

My Buddy— Republic (69 min.) 158 

My Gal Loves Music — Universal (63 min.) 191 

My Pal, Wolf— RKO (75 min.) 159 

National Barn Dance — Paramount (76 min.) 142 

National Velvet — 20th Century-Fox (125 min.) 199 

Nevada— RKO (62 min.) 200 

Night Club Girl — Universal (61 min.) 200 

None But the Lonely Heart— RKO (113 min.) 162 

Nothing But Trouble— MGM (69 min.) 195 



HARRISON'S REPORTS Index - Second Half of 1944, Page B 



Oath of Vengeance — PRC (57 min.) not reviewed 

Oh, What a Night!— Monogram (71 min.) 132 

Old Texas Trail, The — Universal (59 min.). .not reviewed 

Once Upon a Time — Columbia (89 min.) 110 

One Body Too Many — Paramount (75 min.) 172 

One Mysterious Night — Columbia (63 min.) 138 

Our Hearts Were Young and Gay — Paramount (81 m) . 143 

Pearl of Death — Universal (69 min.) 144 

Practically Yours — Paramount (90 min.) 206 

Princess and the Pirate, The — RKO (94 min.) 166 

Rainbow Island — Paramount (97 min.) 143 

Reckless Age — Universal (63 min.) 143 

Riders of the Sante Fe— Universal (60 m.) . . .not reviewed 
Rustler's Hideout — PRC (55 min.) not reviewed 

Saddle Leather Law— Columbia (55 min.) ... not reviewed 

San Antonio Kid — Republic (56 min.) not reviewed 

San Diego, I Love You — Universal (83 min.) 147 

San Fernando Valley — Republic (74 m.) not reviewed 

Seven Doors to Death — PRC ( 6 1 min. ) 131 

Seventh Cross, The— MGM (111 min.) 119 

Shadow of Suspicion — Monogram (68 min.) 166 

Shadows in the Night — Columbia (67 min.) 127 

She's a Soldier, Too — Columbia (67 min.) 147 

Sheriff of Las Vegas — Republic (55 min.) . . . .not reviewed 
Sheriff of Sundown — Republic (56 min.) . . . .not reviewed 
Silver Key, The — Columbia (See "Girl in the Case") . . 62 
Since You Went Away — United Artists (171 min ). . 119 

Sing, Neighbor, Sing — Republic (70 min.) 131 

Singing Sheriff, The — Universal (63 min.) 150 

Something for the Boys — 20th Century-Fox (87 m.). . 179 
Song of the Range — Monogram (57 min.) . . .not reviewed 
Sonora Stage Coach — Monogram (59 min.). .not reviewed 

Soul of a Monster, The — Columbia (61 min.) 150 

Stagecoach to Monterey — Republic (55 min.). not reviewed 

Storm Over Lisbon — Republic (86 min.) 142 

Strange Affair — Columbia (78 min.) 167 

Strangers in the Night — Republic (56 min.) 134 

Sunday Dinner for a Soldier — 20th Century-Fox (86m). 199 

Suspect, The — Universal (85 min.) 210 

Sweet and Low-down — 20th Century-Fox (75 min.) . . 126 
Sweethearts on Parade — Monogram (See 

"Sweethearts of the U.S.A.") 14 

Swing Hostess— PRC (76 min.) 163 

Swing in the Saddle — Columbia (69 min.) .... not reviewed 

Tahiti Nights — Columbia (63 min.) 210 

Take It or Leave It — 20th Century-Fox (71 min.) 115 

Tall in the Saddle— RKO (87 min.) 155 

That's My Baby— Republic (68 min.) 150 

Thin Man Goes Home, The— MGM (100 min.) 191 

Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo— MGM (138 min.) 187 

3 Is a Family — United Artists (80 min.) 191 

Three Caballeros, The— RKO (72 min.) 202 

Three Little Sisters — Republic (68 min.) 122 

Three of a Kind — Monogram (67 min.) 106 

Till We Meet Again — Paramount (88 min.) 144 

To Have and Have Not — Warner Bros. (100 min.) ... 168 

Together Again — Columbia (101 min.) 178 

Tomorrow, the World — United Artists (86 min.) 207 

Town Went Wild, The— PRC (78 min.) 186 

Tropicana — Columbia (see "The Heat's On") 1943, ..194 
Twilight on the Prairie — Universal (62 min.) 146 

U-Boat Prisoner — Columbia (67 min.) 110 

Unwritten Code, The — Columbia (61 min.) 158 

Utah Kid, The — Monogram (53 min.) not reviewed 

Very Thought of You, The — Warner Bros. (99 min.) . 171 
Vigilantes of Dodge City — Republic (55 m.) . not reviewed 

West of the Rio Grande — Monogram 

(59 min.) not reviewed 

When Strangers Marry — Monogram (67 min.) 146 

When the Lights Go On Again— PRC (74 min.) 158 

Whispering Skull, The — PRC (56 min.) not reviewed 

Wild Horse Phantom — PRC (56 min.) not reviewed 

Wilson — 20th Century-Fox (155 min.) 128 

Wing and a Prayer — 20th Century-Fox (95 min.) 118 

Winged Victory — 20th Century-Fox (130 min.) 190 

Woman in the Window— RKO (99 min.) 168 



RELEASE SCHEDULE FOR FEATURES 

Columbia Features 

(729 Seventh Ave., Hew Yor\ 19, H- T.) 

6022 The Mark of the Whistler— Dix-Carter Nov. 2 

6033 Sergeant Mike — Parks-Bates Nov. 9 

6202 Cyclone Prairie Rangers — Starrett (56 m.) . .Nov. 9 

6040 The Missing Juror — Carter-Bannon Nov. 16 

6032 She's a Sweetheart — Frazec-Parks Dec. 7 

6038 Dancing in Manhattan — Donnell-Brady . . . . Dec. 14 

6203 Saddle Leather Law— Starrett (55 m.) Dec. 21 

6003 Together Again— Boyer-Dunnc Dec. 22 

Tahiti Nights — Falkenburg-O'Brien Dec. 28 

Let's Go Steady— Parrish-Moran Jan. 4 

Youth on Trial — Collins-Reed Jan. 11 

Eadie Was a Lady — Miller-Besser Jan. 18 

I Love a Mystery — Bannon-Foch Jan. 25 

Sing Me a Song of Texas — Lane-Mclntyre. . .Feb. 8 

Leave it to Blondie — Singleton-Lake Feb. 22 

Crime Doctor's Courage — Baxter-Crane Feb. 27 



Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Features 

( 1 540 Broadway. Hew York 19, H- T.) 
Block 9 

501 The Seventh Cross — Tracy-Gurie September 

502 Barbary Coast Gent — Beery September 

503 Waterloo Bridge — Taylor-Leigh (reissue) .. September 

504 Maisie Goes to Reno — Sothern-Hodiak. . . .September 

505 Marriage is a Private Affair — Turner- 

Craig October 

506 Kismet — Dietrich-Colman October 

507 Mrs. Parkington — Pidgcon-Garson November 

508 Naughty Marietta — MacDonald-Eddy 

(reissue) November 

510 An American Romance — Donlevy November 

509 Lost in a Harem — Abbott & Costello December 

Block 10 

513 The Thin Man Goes Home — Powell-Loy . . . Jan. -Mar. 

514 Main Street After Dark — Arnold Jan. -Mar. 

515 Music for Millions — O'Brien-Allyson Jan. -Mar. 

516 Blonde Fever — Astor-Dorn Jan. -Mar. 

517 This Man's Navy — Beery-Drake Jan. -Mar. 

518 Between Two Women — Johnson-Barrymore. Jan. -Mar. 

519 Nothing But Trouble — Laurel ii Hardy. . . .Jan. -Mar. 

Specials 

500 Dragon Seed — Hepburn-Huston August 

511 Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo — Tracy-Johnson . . January 

512 Meet Me in St. Louis — Garland-O'Brien January 



Monogram Features 

(630 Hinth Ave.. Hew York 19, H- Y.) 

461 Song of the Range — Wakely (57 m.) Dec. 1 

421 Crazy Knights — Gilbert-Howard Dec. 8 

416 Shadow of Suspicion — Weaver-Cookson Dec. 15 

403 Alaska — Taylor-Lindsay (re.) Dec. 22 

409 Bowery Champs — East Side Kids Dec. 29 

455 Navajo Trail — J. M. Brown Jan. 5 

414 Army Wives — Knox-Rambeau Jan. 12 

420 Adventures of Kitty O'Day — Parker-Cookson. Jan. 19 

417 The Jade Mask — Sidney Toler Jan. 26 

401 They Shall Have Faith — Storm-Brown Jan. 26 

The Cisco Kid Returns — Renaldo Feb. 9 

454 Gun Smoke — J. M. Brown Feb. 16 

John Dillinger, Mobster — Lowe-Jeffreys Feb. 23 

G. I. Honeymoon — Storm-Cookson Mar. 23 



Paramount Features 

(1501 Broadway. Hew Yor\ 18, H- Y.) 
(No national release dates) 
Block 3 

4411 Here Come the Waves — Crosby-Hutton 

4412 Dangerous Passage — Lowery-Brooks 

4413 For Whom the Bell Tolls — Cooper-Bergman. 

4414 Practically Yours— Colbert-MacMurray 

4415 Double Exposure — Morris-Kelly 

Special 

4432 Sign of the Cross — Reissue 



HARRISON'S REPORTS Index - 



- Second Half of 1944, Page C l\<ohZ 



PRC Pictures, Inc. Features 

(625 Madison Ave., Hew York 22, .N.- Y.) 

555 Wild Horse Phantom— Crabbe (56 m.) Oct. 28 

510 Fm from Arkansas — Bennett-Adrian Oct. 31 

512 I Accuse My Parents — Hughes-Lowell Nov. 4 

552 Dead or Alive- — Texas Rangers (56 m.) Nov. 9 

506 Blubeard — Carradine-Parker Nov. 11 

511 The Great Mike — Erwin-Henry Nov. 15 

514 Rogues' Gallery — Jenks-Raymond Dec. 6 

556 Oath of Vengeance — Buster Crabbe (57 m.) . .Dec. 9 
501 The Town Went Wild— Lydon-Bartholomew. Dec. 15 

513 Castle of Crimes — English-made (re.) Dec. 22 

553 The Whispering Skull — Texas Rangers (56m). Dec. 29 

Fog Island — Atwill-Zucco Jan. 31 

His Brother's Ghost — Buster Crabbe Feb. 3 

Kid Sister — Pryor-Clark Feb. 6 

Marked for Murder — Texas Rangers Feb. 8 

The Spell of Amy Nugent — English cast Feb. 10 

507 The Man Who Walked Alone — O'Brien- 

Aldridge (re.) Feb. 15 

515 Hollywood & Vine — Ellison-McKay (re.) . . . .Mar. 1 

Strange Illusion — Lydon-William Mar. 15 

Shadows of Death — Buster Crabbe Mar. 24 

Crime, Inc. — Tilton-Neal Mar. 31 

Republic Features 

(1790 Broadway. Hew York 19, H- Y.) 

1943-44 

346 Lights of Old Sante Fe — Roy Rogers (78m.).Nov. 6 

3308 Red River Valley — Autry (reissue) Dec. 1 

(More to come) 
Beginning of 1944-45 Season 

3311 Tucson Raiders — Elliott-Hayes (55 m.) May 14 

3312 Marshal of Reno— Elliott-Blake (56 m.) July 2 

461 Silver City Kid — Lane-Stewart (55 m.) July 20 

451 Bordertown Trail — Burnette-Carson (56m). Aug. 11 

401 Sing, Neighbor, Sing — Taylor-Terry Aug. 12 

3313 San Antonio Kid — Elliott-Stirling (56 m.). .Aug. 16 

462 Stagecoach to Monterey — Lane-Stewart 

(55 m.) Sept. 15 

3314 Cheyenne Wildcat— Elliott-Blake (56 m.)..Sept. 30 

452 Code of the Prairie — Burnette-Carson (56m). Oct. 6 

403 My Buddy — Barry-Terry Oct. 12 

463 Sheriff of Sundown — Lane-Stirling (56 m.).Nov. 7 

402 End of the Road — Norris-Abbott Nov. 10 

3315 Vigilantes of Dodge City — Elliott (55 m.).. Nov. 15 

404 Faces in the Fog — Withers-Kelly Nov. 30 

405 Brazil — Guizar-Bruce Nov. 30 

453 Firebrands of Arizona — Burnette-Carson 

(56 m.) Dec. 1 

408 Thoroughbreds — Neal-Mara Dec. 23 

407 The Big Bonanza — Arlen-Livingston Dec. 30 

3316 Sheriff of Las Vegas— Elliott-Blake (55 m.).Dec. 31 

409 Grissly's Million's — Kelly-Grey Jan. 16 

RKO Features 

(1270 Sixth Ave., Hew York 20, H- Y.) 
(No National Release Dates) 
Block 2 

506 Girl Rush — Carney-Brown 

507 Falcon in Hollywood — Conway-Borg 

508 Murder, My Sweet — Powell-Shirley (formerly 

"Farewell, My Lovely") 

509 Nevada— Mitchum-Jeffreys 

510 Experiment Perilous — Lamar-Brent 

Specials 

551 The Princess and the Pirate — Bob Hope 

581 Casanova Brown — Cooper- Wright 

582 Woman in the Window — Bennett-Robinson 

583 Belle of the Yukon — Scott-Lee 

Twentieth Century-Fox Features 

(444 W. 56th St., Hew York 19, H- Y.) 
Block 3 

506 The Big Noise — Laurel & Hardy October 

507 In the Meantime.Darling — Crain-Latimore. . .October 

508 Irish Eyes Are Smiling — Woolley-Haymes. . .October 

Block 4 

509 Laura — Andrews-Tierney November 

510 Something for the Boys — O'Shea-Blaine. . .November 



Block 5 

512 Winged Victory — McCallister-O'Brien .... December 

513 Sunday Dinner for a Soldier — Baxter- 

Hodiak December 

Block 6 

514 Keys of the Kingdom — Peck-Mitchell January 

511 The Way Ahead— David Niven January 

515 The Fighting Lady — Documentary January 

Special 

530 Wilson — Knox-Fitzgerald 



United Artists Features 

(729 Seventh Ave., Hew York 19, H- Y.) 

Since You Went Away — All star cast Special 

Dark Waters — Oberon-Tone Nov. 10 

3 Is a Family — Ruggles-Broderick Nov. 23 

Guest in the House — Baxter-Bellamy Dec. 8 

Tomorrow, the World — March-Field Dec. 29 

I'll Be Seeing You — Rogers-Cotten-Temple Jan. 5 

Mr. Emmanuel — English-made Jan. 19 



9009 
9072 
9026 
9081 

9029 
9018 
9034 
9031 

9082 



Universal Features 

(1270 Sixth Ave., Hew York 20, H- Y.) 

The Climax — Foster-Karloff Oct. 20 

Bowery to Broadway — Oakie-Montez Nov. 3 

Dead Man's Eyes — Chaney-Parker Nov. 10 

Riders of the Sante Fe — Rod Cameron 

(60 m.) Nov. 10 

Reckless Age — Gloria Jean Nov. 17 

Enter Arsene Lupin — Raines-Kovin Nov. 24 

Murder in the Blue Room — McDonald-Cook. Dec. 1 

Hi' Beautiful — O'Driscoll-Beery Dec. 8 

My Gal Loves Music — Crosby-McDonald. . .Dec. 15 
The Old Texas Trail — Cameron-Dew (59m) .Dec. 15 
Destiny — Jean-Curtis (formerly 

"The Fugitive") Dec. 22 

Can't Help Singing — Durbin-Paige Dec. 29 

Night Club Girl — Austin-Norris Jan. 5 

She Gets Her Man — Davis-Errol Jan. 12 

Under Western Skies — O'Driscoll-Beery, Jr. .Jan. 19 

The Suspect — Laughton-Raines (reset) Jan. 26 

Here Come the Co-eds — Abbott ii Costello . . . Feb. 2 

Her Lucky Night — Beery, Jr.-O'Driscoll Feb. 9 

House of Frankenstein — Karloff-Chaney Feb. 16 

The Mummy's Curse — Lon Chaney Feb. 16 

Frisco Sal — Foster-Bey Feb. 23 



Warner Bros. Features 

(321 W. 44th St., Hew Yor\ IS,H- Y.) 

406 The Very Thought of You — Morgan-Parker. Nov. 11 

407 The Doughgirls — Sheridan-Carson Nov. 25 

409 Hollywood Canteen — All star cast Dec. 30 

410 To Have and Have Not — Bogart-Bacall Jan. 20 

Objective Burma — Flynn-Hull Feb. 10 



SHORT SUBJECT RELEASE SCHEDULE 
Columbia — One Reel 

6702 As the Fly Flies — Phantasy (6 m.) Nov. 17 

6854 Screen Snapshots No. 4 (9Y 2 m.) Nov. 22 

6803 Aqua Maids — Sports (91/ 2 m.) Nov. 24 

6751 Be Patient, Patient — Fox ii Crow (7m.) Nov. 30 

6654 Community Sings No. 4 Dec. 1 

6953 Rootin' Tootin' Band— Film Vodvil (11 m.) .Dec. 8 
5657 Christmas Carols — Com. Sings (reissue) 

(101/2 m.) Dec. 8 

6804 Striking Champions — Sports Dec. 22 

6855 Screen Snapshots No. 5 (10 m.) Dec. 28 

6655 Community Sings No. 5 (9 m.) Jan. 1 

6501 Dog, Cat y Canary— Col. Rhap. (6 m.) (re.). Jan. 5 
6602 Kickapoo Juice — Li'l Abner (re.) Jan. 12 

6752 The Egg Yegg— Fox 6? Crow Jan. 19 

6856 Screen Snapshots No. 6 (9 m.) Jan. 26 

6805 Kings of the Fairway — Sports Feb. 2 

6954 Korn Kobblers— Film Vodvil (11 m.) Feb. 2 

6502 Rippling Romance — Col. Rhap Feb. 9 



HARRISON'S REPORTS Index -- Second Half of 1944, Pape D 



6127 

6128 

6429 

6129 

6130 

6422 
6131 

6410 
6132 
6133 

6403 
6134 



Columbia — Two Reels 

The Vanishing Dagger — Black Arrow No. 8 

(15 m.) Dec. 8 

Escape from Death— Black Arrow No. 9 

Heather and Yon— Clyde (17 m.) Dec. 8 

(15 m.) Dec. 15 

The Gold Cache— Black Arrow No. 10 

(15 m.) Dec. 22 

Curse of the Killer — Black Arrow No. 1 1 

(15 m.) Dec. 29 

She Snoops to Conquer— V. Vague Dec. 29 

Test by Torture — Black Arrow No. 12 

(15 m.) Jan. 5 

Woo, Woo! — Hugh Herbert (16 m.) Jan. 5 

Sign of Evil— Black Arrow No. 13 (15m.). .Jan. 12 
An Indian's Revenge — Black Arrow No. 14 

(15 m.) Jan- 19 

Three Pests in a Mess — Stooges (15 m.) Jan. 19 

The Black Arrow Triumphs— Black Arrow No. 15 

(15 m.) Jan. 26 



Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer — One Reel 
1943-44 

K-574 A Lady Fights Back— Pass. Par. (10 m.). . .Nov. 11 

S-558 Safety Sleuth— Pete Smith (9 m.) Nov. 25 

T-522 Wandering Here and There— Travel. (9m) . Dec. 9 

W-541 Mouse Trouble — Cartoon (7 m.) Dec. 23 

W-542 Barney Bear's Polar Pet— Cartoon (7 m.) . .Dec. 30 

W-543 Screwy Truant — Cartoon (7 m.) Jan. 13 

(More to come) 

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer — Two Reels 
1943-44 

A-501 Dark Shadows — Special (22 m.) Dec. 16 

(More to come) 



Paramount — One Reel 



U4-2 

E4-1 

R4-3 

P4-2 

J4-2 

D4-2 

U4-3 

L4-2 

Y4-2 

R4-4 
E4-2 
P4-3 
J4-3 
D4-3 
L4-3 
Y4-3 
E4-3 
U4-4 
R4-5 



Two Gun Rusty — Puppetoon (7J/2 m.) Dec. 1 

She-Sick Sailors— Popcye (7 m.) Dec. 8 

Long Shots and Favorites — Sport. (9 m.). . .Dec. 8 
Gabriel Churchkitten — Noveltoon (7 m.)...Dec. 15 

Popular Science No. 2 (10 m.) Dec. 22 

Birthday Party— Little Lulu (9 m.) Dec. 29 

Hot Lip Jasper — Puppetoon (7 m.) Jan. 5 

Unusual Occupations No. 2 (10 m.) Jan. 12 

Who's Who in Animal Land — Speaking of 

Animals (9 m.) Jan. 19 

Out Fishin' — Sportlight Jan. 26 

Pop-Pie-Ala-Mode — Popcye Jan. 26 

When G. I. Johnny Comes Home — Novel.. . .Feb. 2 

Popular Science No. 3 Feb. 

Beau Tics — Little Lulu Mar. 

Unusual Occupations No. 3 Mar. 

In the Public Eye — Speak, of Animals Mar. 

Tops in the Big Top — Popeye Mar. 

Jasper Tell — Puppetoon (8 m.) Mar 



16 
2 
9 
16 
16 
23 



Blue Winners — Sportlight Mar. 30 

Paramount — Two Reels 

FF4-1 Bonnie Lassie — Musical Parade (19 m.)...Oct. 6 

FF4-2 Star Bright— Musical Parade (20 m.) Dec. 15 

FF4-3 Bombalera — Musical Parade (20 m.) Feb. 9 



Republic — Two Reels 

481 Zorro's Black Whip — Lewis-Stirling 

(12 episodes) Dec. 16 



RKO — One Reel 

54302 School for Dogs— Disney (8 m.) Oct. 6 

54202 Flicker Flashbacks No. 2 (7J/ 2 m.) Oct. 27 

54303 Saddle Starlets — Sportscope (8 m.) Nov. 3 

54304 Parallel Skiing — Sportscope (8 m.) Dec. 1 

54105 Donald's Off Day— Disney (7 m.) Dec. 8 

54106 Tiger Trouble— Disney (7 m.) Jan. 5 

54107 The Clock Watcher— Disney Jan. 26 

RKO — Two Reels 

53202 Swing It — Headliners (16 m.) Oct. 20 

53401 Go Feather Your Nest — Edgar Kennedy 

(17 m.) Oct. 23 

53702 He Forgot to Remember — Leon Enrol ( 17m) .Oct. 27 

53101 West Point — This is America (17 m.) Nov. 17 

53203 Swing Vacation — Headliners (19 m.) Dec. 1 

53102 New Americans — This is America ( l9]/ 2 m) .Dec. 15 



Twentieth Century-Fox — One Reel 

5254 Black, Gold & Cactus — Adventure (9 m.) . . .Nov. 10 
5506 Mighty Mouse at the Circus — Terry. (7 m.) . Nov. 17 
5 507 Gandy's Dream Girl — Terrytoon (7 m.) . . . .Dec. 8 
5352 Trolling for Strikes— Sports (8m.) Dec. 15 

5508 Dear Old Switzerland— Terrytoon (7 m.). . .Dec. 22 
5257 Canyons of the Sun — Adventure Jan. 5 

5509 Mighty Mouse ii the Pirate — Terry. (6 m.). .Jan. 12 

5510 Port of Missing Mice — Terrytoon Feb. 2 

53 53 Novia Scotia — Sports Feb. 9 

5511 Ants in Your Pantry — Terrytoon Feb. 16 

5255 City of Paradox — Adventure (8 m.) (re.) .. .Mar. 2 
5112 Raiding the Raiders — Terrytoon Mar. 9 

5256 Alaskan Grandeur — Adventure (8 m.) (re ). Mar. 16 

Twentieth Century-Fox — Two Reels 

Vol. 1 1 No. 3 — Uncle Sam, Manner — March of 

Time (16 m.) Nov. 3 

Vol. 1 1 No. 4 — Inside China Today — March of 

Time ( 17i/ 2 m.) Dec. 1 

Vol. 11 No. 5 — The Unknown Battle — March of 

Time (18j/ 2 m.) Dec. 29 



Universal — One Reel 

9352 Dogs for Show — Var. Views (9 m.) Nov. 

9233 Ski for Two — Cartune (7 m.) Nov. 

93 53 Mr. Chimp Goes to Coney Island — Var. Views 

(9 m.) Dec. 

9372 One-Man Newspaper — Per. Odd. (9 m.)...Dec. 

9234 Pied Piper of Basin St.— Cartune (7 m.) Jan. 15 



9122 
9686 
9687 
9123 
9688 
9112 
9689 

9690 
9691 
9692 

9693 
9124 
8110 
9125 



Universal — Two Reels 

Harmony Highway — Musical (15 m.) Nov. 22 

The Fatal Plunge— River Boat No. 6 ( 17m.) . Nov. 28 
Toll of the Storm— River Boat No. 7 (17m.). Dec. 5 

On the Mellow Side — Musical (15 m.) Dec. 6 

Break in the Levy — River Boat No. 8 (17m). Dec. 12 

Lili Marlene — Special (21 m.) Dec. 13 

Trapped in the Quicksand — River Boat No. 9 

(17 m.) Dec. 19 

Flaming Havoc — River Boat No. 10 (17 m.) .Dec. 20 
Electrocuted — River Boat No. 11 (17 m.).. .Dec. 27 
A Desperate Chance — River Boat No. 12 

(17 m.) Jan. 3 

Tile Boomerang — River Boat No. 13 (17 m.) .Jan. 10 

Jive Busters — Musical (15 m.) Jan. 17 

Diver vs. Devilfish — Special Jan. 17 

Melody Parade — Musical (15 m.) Feb. 14 



1603 

1403 
1304 
1604 
1305 
1605 
1501 
1502 
1721 
1503 
1701 
1306 
1606 
1701 
1504 
1722 
1307 
1702 



Vitaphone — One Reel 

Harry Owen's Royal Hawaiians — Mel. Mas. 

(10 in.) Nov. 4 

Outdoor Living — Varieties (10 m.) Nov. 4 

I Love to Singa — Hit Parade (7 m.) Nov. 18 

Sonny Dunham & Orch. — Mel. Mas. ( 10m) . Nov. 25 
Plenty of Money & You — Hit Par. (7m.).. .Dec. 9 

Jammin' the Blues — Mel. Mas. (10 m.) Dec. 16 

California Here We Are — Sports (re.) (lOm).Dec. 16 
Birds ii Beasts Were There — Sports (10 m.) .Dec. 30 

Herr Meets Hare — Bugs Bunny (7 m.) Jan. 13 

Glamour in Sports — Sports (10 m.) Jan. 13 

Draftee Daffy — Looney Tune (7 m.) Jan. 20 

Fella with a Fiddle— Hit. Par. (7m.) Jan. 20 

Rhythm of the Rhumba — Mel. Mas. (10 m.) .Jan. 27 

Draftee Daffy — Looney Tune (7 m.) Jan. 27 

Bikes and Skis — Sports (10 m.) Feb. 10 

Unruly Hare — Bugs Bunny (re.) (7 m.) . . . .Feb. 10 

When I Yoo Hoo — Hit Parade (7m.) Feb. 24 

Trap Happy Porky — Looney Tune (7 m.) . . .Feb. 24 



Vitaphone — Two Reels 

1104 I Won't Play — Featurette (20 m.) Nov. 11 

1105 Nautical but Nice — Featurette (20 m.) Dec. 2 

1101 I Am An American — Featurette (20 m.) Dec. 23 

1002 Beachhead to Berlin — Special (20 m.) Jan. 6 

1106 Congo — Featurette (20 m.) Feb. 3 

1003 Pledge to Bataan — Special (20 m.) Feb. 17 



NEWSWEEKLY 
NEW YORK 
RELEASE DATES 
Pathe News 



551 39 Sat. (O) . 
55240 Wed. (E) 
55141 Sat. (O) . 
55242 Wed. (E) 
55143 Sat. (O) . 
55244 Wed. (E) 
55145 Sat. (O) . 
55246 Wed. (E) 
55147 Sat. (O) . 
55248 Wed. (E) 
55149 Sat. (O) . 
55250 Wed. (E) 
55151 Sat. (O) . 



Metrotone 

234 Thurs. (E) 

235 Tues. (O) . 

236 Thurs. (E) 

237 Tues. (O) . 

238 Thurs. (E) 

239 Tues. (O) . 

240 Thurs. (E) 

241 Tues. (O) . 

242 Thurs. (E) 

243 Tues. (O) . 

244 Thurs. (E) 

245 Tues. (O) . 

246 Thurs. (E) 

247 Tues. (O) . 



.Jan. 6 
.Jan. 10 
.Jan. 13 
.Jan. 17 
.Jan. 20 
.Jan. 24 
.Jan. 27 
.Jan. 31 
.Feb. 3 
.Feb. 7 
.Feb. 10 
.Feb. 14 
.Feb. 17 

News 

..Jan. 4 
..Jan. 9 
. .Jan. 11 
. . Jan. 16 
, . .Jan. 18 
, . .Jan. 23 
, . .Jan. 25 
. . .Jan. 30 
..Feb. 1 
..Feb. 6 
..Feb. 8 
. . Feb. 1 3 
. .Feb. 15 
. .Feb. 20 



Fox 

36 Thurs 

37 Tues. 

38 Thurs 

39 Tues 

40 Thurs 

4 1 Tues. 

42 Thurs 

43 Tues 

44 Thurs 

45 Tues. 

46 Thurs 

47 Tues. 

48 Thurs 

49 Tues 



Movietone 

(E) ... .Jan. 4 

(O) Jan. 9 

.(E) Jan. 11 

(O) Jan. 16 

.(E) Jan. 18 

(O) Jan. 23 

. (E) Jan. 25 

(O) Jan. 30 

. (E) ....Feb. 1 

(O) Feb. 6 

. (E) ....Feb. 8 

(O) Feb. 13 

(E) ... .Feb. 15 
(O) Feb. 20 



Paramount 

37 Sunday (O) . 

38 Thurs. (E) . . 

39 Sunday (O) . 

40 Thurs. (E) . . 

41 Sunday (O) . 

42 Thurs. (E) . . 

43 Sunday (O) . 

44 Thurs. (E) . . 

45 Sunday (O) . 

46 Thurs. (E) . . 

47 Sunday (O) . 

48 Thurs. (E) . . 

49 Sunday (O) . 



News 

..Jan. 7 
. .Jan. 11 
. .Jan. 14 
. .Jan. 18 
. .Jan. 21 
. .Jan. 25 
. .Jan. 28 
. . Feb. 1 
..Feb. 4 
..Feb. 8 
. .Feb. 11 
. .Feb. 15 
. .Feb. 18 



Universal 

360 Thurs. (E) . . .Jan 

361 Tues. (O) 

362 Thurs. (E) 

363 Tues. (O) 

364 Thurs. (E) 

365 Tues. (O) 

366 Thurs. (E) 

367 Tues. (O) 

368 Thurs. (E) 

369 Tues. (O) 

370 Thurs. (E) 

371 Tues. (O) 

372 Thurs. (E) 

373 Tues. (O) 



4 

Jan. 9 
Jan. 1 1 
Jan. 16 
Jan. 18 
Jan. 23 
Jan. 25 
Jan. 30 
Feb. 1 
Feb. 6 
Feb. 8 
Feb. 13 
Feb. 15 
Feb. 20 



All American News 

115 Friday Jan. 5 

116 Friday Jan. 12 

117 Friday Jan. 19 

118 Friday Jan. 26 

119 Friday Feb. 2 

120 Friday Feb. 9 

121 Friday Feb. 16 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 

Harrison's Reports 

Yearly Subscription Rates: 1270 SIXTH AVENUE Published Weekly by 

United States $15.00 Ronm 1 R1 2 Harrison's Reports, Inc., 

U. S. Insular Possessions. 16.50 iwum 1014 Publisher 

Canada 16.50 New York 20, N. Y. P. S. HARRISON, Editor 

Mexico Cuba, Spain 16.50 A Motjon picture Reviewing Service 

oreat Britain ............ 10.1a Devoted Chiefly to the Interests of the Exhibitors Established July 1, 1919 

Australia, New Zealand, 

India, Europe, Asia 17.50 Ug Editoria j p ij cy . No p ro blem Too Big for Its Editorial Circle 7-4622 

35c a Copy Columns, if It is to Benefit the Exhibitor. 

A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 

Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, JANUARY 13, 1945 No. 2 



MUST THE AMERICAN EXHIBITOR 
SUBSIDIZE FOREIGN PRODUCTION? 

The idea of commerce among the nations of the 
world without the restrictions of burdensome duties, 
as advocated by Cordell Hull, former Secretary of 
State, is a fine one. Mr. Hull went under the theory 
that people who do business do not fight, unless it be, 
of course, that some nations, like individuals, want 
to live on the toil of others, unwilling to contribute 
anything themselves to the general welfare. 

But it seems as if some of the very nations we have 
been helping do their share in saving themselves and 
in contributing to the efforts of other Allied nations 
to save the world from slavery are paying us back 
by placing restrictions upon our commerce. They are 
placing upon the American motion pictures restrk' 
tions that are contrary to the theory of Mr. Hull and 
of the general American policy. They are so envious 
of the progress that the American motion pictures 
have made through the ingenuity of the American 
producers that they are trying to shackle it by means 
of restrictions by quotas and other methods, such as 
compelling the American producers to dub films in 
the country to which they are exported. 

I am referring particularly to France and Spain, 
not to mention Argentina and even Great Britain. 
France wants to make the American exhibitors sup- 
port the French film industry by means of reciprocity; 
that is, the French Government is willing to permit 
the importation into France of a given number of 
American films provided the American producers 
import a given number of French films to be played 
in American theatres. Spain has imposed upon the 
American distributors the obligation of dubbing the 
Spanish language in Spain, where the facilities are 
limited, instead of in the United States, where the 
work can be done most efficiently. Great Britain has 
increased the quota; that is, Britain allows American 
films to enter Great Britain only if the American 
distributors import into the United States a given 
number of British pictures. And this quota will in- 
crease as time goes on. Even little Switzerland has 
imposed a quota upon the American distributors, if 
the dispatches in the newspapers are correct. 

According to a dispatch in the New York Herald 
Tribune of December 2 1 , Major Henry Adams Proc- 
tor, in a House of Commons debate regarding Amer- 
ican films, stated the following : 

"We have been for many years in this country 
getting a very raw deal from American producers, 
and the whole of the American film industry has dealt 
very harshly with products made in this country. 
This is due to the fact that financiers in the industry, 



and especially American controllers, see to it that the 
English film will not be a competition with American 
production. We are equal to the Americans in direc- 
tion, script, writers and actors, and we have the 
peculiar quality of voice that makes English sound 
like a flute against the American tin whistle." 

It is difficult to make the English understand that, 
so far as the American exhibitors are concerned, there 
is no prejudice against the motion pictures of any 
nation, and least of all against British films, which 
use the same language, so long as these pictures draw 
at the box-office. The trouble with the British pro- 
ducers, however, is that they have been whining all 
these years but have done nothing about the very 
thing that would make the English pictures popular 
among American audiences. Have they ever spent a 
dollar in this country to advertise the British stars? 
Have they tried to obtain publicity in the American 
newspapers and other informative media to apprise 
the American public that a given English novel, 
which may have had a great circulation in the United 
States, was in the process of production in England 
so as to arouse a desire among the American public 
to see it when it was released in the United States? 
No! They did nothing so elementary to help their 
pictures or their stars attract the American picture- 
going public to the box-offices of theatres. 

Why should the American exhibitor book English 
pictures when he knows in advance that they will not 
attract the public? Why should he pay his money to 
buy an English picture he cannot sell to the American 
public? The Honorable Major Henry Adams Proctor 
must put forward a better reason than the one he 
has thus far advanced if he wishes to support his 
contention that the American film industry has dealt 
harshly with the pictures made in his country. As 
for his boast that the English voice "makes English 
sound like a flute against the American tin whistle," 
Harrison's Reports forgives him, for the Honorable 
member of the British Parliament has never heard 
the English of the British films in America with 
American ears. If he had, in most instances he would 
not understand it. 

And now about the French. According to the Lon- 
don Bureau of the Motion Picture Herald, the French 
Embassy in London stated to the London representa- 
tive of that paper that the French Government is 
determined to maintain the French film industry by 
demanding of other nations that they show French 
pictures just as French theatres are showing the pic- 
tures of other nations. In other words, the French 
Government expects the American exhibitors to book 
(Continued on last page) 



"The Big Bonanza" with Richard Arien, 
Jane Frazee and Robert Livingston 



6 HARRISON'S REPORTS January 13, 1945 



"The Great Bonanza" with Richard Arlen, 
Jane Frazee and Robert Livingston 

(Republic, Dec. 30; time, 69 min.) 

Routine program fare. It is a western-like melo- 
drama, which, despite its slow start, builds up enough 
excitement in the final reels to satisfy the ardent fol- 
lowers of this type of entertainment. The chief fault 
with the picture is the loosely written screenplay, but 
the action fans will probably overlook that fact, for 
the action has many of the ingredients they enjoy — 
fist fights, fast riding, and a shooting duel between the 
outlaws and the law-abidng citizens. In addition, it has 
comedy, some music, and a romance. The action takes 
place during the Civil War era: — 

Unfairly court-martialed for cowardice in battle, 
Richard Arlen, Cavalry Captain in the Union Army, 
escapes from custody. Accompanied by George "Gab- 
by" Hayes, his grizzled friend, Arlen goes to Nevada 
Springs, where Bobby Driscoll, his eight-year-old 
brother, lived with Robert Livingston, his boyhood 
friend, owner of a dance palace. Arlen, to take the 
child out of an improper environment, arranges for 
Bobby to live at the home of Lynne Roberts, his Sun- 
day School teacher, much to the disappointment of 
Jane Frazee, singing star of the dance hall, who was 
sincerely fond of the boy. Through Russell Simpson, 
Lynne's father, Arlen learns that Livingston, greedy 
for wealth, was exploiting the local miners, and that 
he (Simpson) could not operate his Big Bonanza 
mine because of Livingston's threats to the miners. 
Arlen, disillusioned by his friend's change of charac- 
ter, joins forces with the miners to combat him. Living- 
ston, to rid himself of Arlen's opposition, reveals that 
he was a fugitive from justice and has him jailed. 
Bobby, grief-stricken because Arlen had been branded 
a coward, runs away from home. Hayes helps Arlen 
to escape from jail to join in the search for Bobby. 
During the hunt, one of Livingston's henchmen kills 
Simpson. Bobby, the only witness to the slayer's iden- 
tity, is found and brought home. Overhearing Living- 
ston's plan to do away with Bobby to prevent him 
from testifying against his henchman, Jane warns 
Arlen. The miners, led by Arlen, meet Livingston's 
gang in a showdown fight and wipe them out. Arlen 
and Livingston get into a fight to the finish in which 
Livingston is killed by a falling beam. With law and 
order restored, Arlen returns to the Army, which 
clears him of the cowardice charge and gives him a 
furlough long enough to marry Lynne. 

Dorrell and Stuart McGowan and Paul Gangelin 
wrote the screen play, Eddy White produced it, and 
George Archainbaud directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Let's Go Steady" with Pat Parrish, 
Jackie Moran and June Preisser 

(Columbia, Jan. 4; time, 60 min.) 
A mediocre program comedy with music, produced 
on a very modest budget. It will probably find its best 
reception among the "jitterbug" set because of the 
"jive" music and the "hepcat" dialogue, as well as of 
the fact that the action revolves around 'teen-aged 
youngsters. The story, which revolves around the 
youngsters' aspirations to become popular songwrit- 
ers, is a thin affair, serving merely as an excuse to 
introduce the musical numbers. The comedy is pretty 
weak. Those who are not particularly keen about the 



antics of "jitterbugs" wil probably find the proceed- 
ings pretty dull. Skinnay Ennis and his orchestra fur- 
nish the music: — 

Jackie Moran and Arnold Stang, aspiring song- 
writers, come to New York to visit the Saxon Publish- 
ing Company, a music firm to which they had paid 
fifty dollars to publish their song. Arriving at the 
music firms's office, they find it in an uproar; the 
owner had died, and his niece, Pat Parrish, who had 
inherited the business, was trying to explain to a group 
of irate youngsters that her dead uncle had spent their 
money but had done nothing about their songs. Sorry 
for Pat, Moran suggests to the others that they take 
over the firm on a cooperaive basis and publish and 
plug their songs themselves. All agree. They try to in- 
duce Skinnay Ennis, a well-known orchestra leader, 
to play their songs, but Ennis refuses to deal with them 
when he learns the name of their firm. Not to be 
thwarted, the youngsters hit upon the idea of having 
their songs played by army camp bands throughout 
the country, hoping that the tunes will become popu- 
lar with the soldiers. The scheme proves successful 
and the youngsters' songs soar to popularity. A na- 
tion-wide contest for the most popular song by a new 
composer is instituted, with Skinnay Ennis scheduled 
to play the winning song on his radio program. Mor- 
an's song wins the prize, and he and Pat decide to 
get married. 

Erna Lazurus wrote the scren play, Ted Richmond 
produced it, and Del Lord directed it. The cast in- 
cludes Mel Torme and the Meltones, Jimmy Lloyd 
and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Grissley's Millions" with Paul Kelly 
and Virginia Grey 

(Republic, no release date set; time, 72 min.) 
A fairly good program murder-mustery melodrama. 
It should go over pretty well with the arm-chair detec- 
tives, for it keeps one guessing as to the murderer's 
identity, which is not disclosed until towards the end. 
Even though the story is far-fetched, and it has a 
number of implausible situations, it holds one in- 
trigued and keeps one in suspense. It is a serious type 
of story, with none of the usual stupid detective 
comedy, which generally detracts from most mystery 
pictures. The direction and the performances are 
good : — 

Learning that his relations eagerly awaited his 
death so that that they could share his fortune, Robert 
H. Barrat instructs Don Douglas, his attorney, to re- 
vise his will, leaving the money to Virginia Grey, his 
loyal granddaughter. Virginia, who had left her hus- 
band, Paul Fix, a criminal, tended to the old man's 
needs. She had informed her relatives that Fix was 
dead. Fix, having learned that Barrat was on his death 
bed, returns to blackmail Virginia. He is shot dead by 
Barrat, who then dies himself. Douglas, looking for 
an opportunity to share Virginia's inheritance, tells 
her that she will be suspected of killing both men, and 
suggests that they conceal Fix's body in Barrat's coffin 
and bury the bodies in a hasty funeral. Meanwhile 
Paul Kelly, a private detective trailing Fix, had seen 
him enter Barrat's home but had not seen him leave. 
He questions Virginia in the belief that she was shield- 
ing Fix. When Douglas asks her to marry him under 
threat of exposure, Virginia confesses the truth to 



January 13, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



7 



Kelly, who by this time had fallen in love with her. 
Meanwhile the police receive an anonymous letter 
stating that Virginia had poisoned her grandfather. 
Jealous relatives, seeking to invalidate the will, en- 
courage an investigation. While Barrat's coffin is un- 
earthed and Fix's body discovered, a mysterious as- 
sailant tries to murder Virginia, but Kelly saves her 
life. Arsenic is found in Barrat's body, and suspicion 
against Virginia is doubled. Kelly, believing her inno- 
cent, deduces that the person who had tried to murder 
her had also poisoned Barrat. Through a clever 
scheme, in which Virginia cooperates, Kelly succeeds 
in trapping Elisabeth Risdon, Virginia's aunt, the only 
relative who had been kind to her. Miss Risdon, in an 
effort to get her part of the inheritance so that she 
could send her pretty daughter to Hollywood, had 
poisoned Barrat. She then tried to murder Virginia 
so that part of the money would revert to her. 

Muriel Guy Bolton wrote the screen play, Walter 
H. Goetz produced it, and John English directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"She Gets Her Man" with Joan Davis 
and William Gargan 

(Universal, no release date set; time, 74 min.) 

A fairly amusing program comedy, suitable for 
houses that cater to non-discriminating audiences. 
Built around a series of mysterious murders that take 
.place in a small town, the story is a hodge-podge of 
nonsensical action, a good part of it slapstick, in which 
Joan Davis, as a would-be detective, fumbles her way 
into the solving of the crimes. Some of the situations 
are genuinely funny, but most of the comedy is so 
forced that it fails to arouse much laughter. Joan Davis 
is the mainstay of the picture, and her antics will un- 
doubtedly amuse her fans. Her current popularity on 
the radio should be helpful : — 

When two leading citizens are murdered mysteri- 
ously in the town of Clayton, Donald McBride, the 
local newspaper editor, sends William Gargan, a re' 
porter, to find Joan Davis, whose deceased mother 
had been one of the town's famous police chiefs. On 
her arrival, Joan is appointed special investigator to 
solve the murders, and Leon Errol, a policeman, is 
assigned as her assistant. The killer tries to frighten 
Joan out of town, but Errol shames her into remain- 
ing. That night, at a cafe, the Chamber of Commerce 
president falls dead, a needle in his heart. Joan finds 
cause to suspect Russell Hicks, the Mayor, but he, too, 
is murdered in the same manner. Joan's failure as a 
sleuth disappoints McBride, and he makes arrange- 
ments to hire another detective. Meanwhile Errol loses 
his job because of Joan's bungling. Crushed by this 
turn of events, Joan is further depressed when she 
learns that Gargan, with whom she was smitten, was 
engaged to Vivian Austin, an actress. As Errol bids 
Joan goodbye at the railroad station, the killer strikes 
for a fifth time, killing a disreputable stage play pro- 
ducer. Joan, seeing Vivian snatch a piece of paper 
out of the dead man's pocket, follows her to the vic- 
tim's theatre. While she and Errol search the theatre 
for clues, they are attacked by a gang of roughnecks. 
Joan escapes and, by a series of antics, infuriates a 
number of citizens who pursue her back into the the- 
atre, where they get into a free-for-all fight with the 
gangsters. During the battle, Joan recovers the paper 
filched by Vivian and, through it, tracks down the 
town coroner as the murderer; he and the dead pro- 



ducer had worked together on shady deals. Errol is 
restored to the force with honors, and as Joan prepares 
to leave, she receives a telegram from her home town 
begging her to remain in Clayton. 

Warren Wilson and Clyde Bruckman wrote the 
screen play, Mr. Wilson produced it, and Erie C. 
Kenton directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"Mr. Emmanuel" with Felix Aylmer 
and Greta Gynt 

(United Artists, Jan. 19; time, 92 min.) 
Based on Louis Golding's successful novel, "Mag- 
nolia Street," this British-made melodrama is one of 
the better pictures to have come out of England. The 
strength of the picture lies, not so much in the story, 
which to many may seem outdated (the action occurs 
in 1935) and somewhat implausible, as in the excellent 
performance by Felix Aylmer, as "Mr. Emmanuel," 
who gives a convincing and sensitive portrayal of an 
elderly, humble Jew, who stout-heartedly defies the 
bestiality of the Nazis in his determination to find the 
missing mother of a German refugee boy. The story 
unfolds at a slow pace, but it has deep human inter- 
est, and its dramatic impact is very forceful. Some of 
the situations stir one deeply. In view of the fact that 
the players are unknown to American audiences, the 
picture will undoubtedly require extensive exploita- 
tion to put it over. The popularity of the book, how- 
ever, may prove helpful : — 

Aylmer, a retired Jewish widower in England, help- 
ing to look after a group of German refugee boys, is 
touched by the grieving of Peter Mullins, the young- 
est boy, who attempts to commit suicide when he fails 
to receive letters from his mother in Germany. The 
boy's father, a non- Aryan, had been murdered, and 
he feared for his mother's safety. To keep the boy from 
destroying himself, Aylmer promises to go to Ger- 
many to learn what happened to his mother. Despite 
his friends' pleas to remain in England, Aylmer de- 
parts for Berlin, secure in the thought that his British 
passport would protect him. In Berlin, his quest for in- 
formation about Peter's mother proves fruitless; those 
who could give him information dared not. The Ges- 
tapo, considerably annoyed by Aylmer's persistent 
search, arrest and falsely charge him with the assasi- 
nation of a Nazi official. Because he was held on a 
criminal, not political, charge, his British passport 
could not help him. Tortured daily by the Gestapo, 
which sought to force a "confession" from him, Ayl- 
mer steadfastly refuses to admit to the assassination. 
Meanwhile Greta Gynt, daughter of an old Jewish 
friend and a popular night-club star in Berlin, becomes 
concerned about the old man's plight; she uses her in- 
fluence with Reichminister Walter Rilla, her lover, 
to gain Aylmer's release. Given a few hours to clear 
out of the country, Aylmer informs Greta that he 
would rather die than not fulfill his promise to Peter. 
Through her, Aylmer learns that Peter's mother had 
married a Nazi official and, lest she be persecuted, she 
refused to acknowledge her half-Jewish son. Aylmer 
returns to England and informs Peter that his mother 
had "died" nobly. 

Louis Golding and Gordon Wellesley wrote the 
screen play, William Sistrom produced it, and Harold 
French directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



8 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



January 13, 1945 



French films in American theatres regardless of 
whether or not the American public understands the 
French language. Or, perhaps, the representative of 
the French Government had in mind dubbing the 
French pictures in English. In other words, the French 
Government feels that the American public should 
regress in progress and go back to the horse-and-buggy 
days. For that is what would happen if the American 
exhibitors should exhibit, in regular theatres, foreign 
pictures dubbed in English. 

Even little Switzerland, with a population of four 
million, which cannot support film production at 
home, wants us to import as many Swiss films as 
the number of American films we are exporting to 
Switzerland. 

In the case of Argentina, there was a time when 
we were depriving the American producers of raw 
stock in order for us to help the Argentinean pro- 
ducers, but now that has stopped. 

There is only one way by which this matter can 
be settled without any fight; after the war, Great 
Britain, France, Spain and other nations throughout 
the world will need our help to rebuild their coun- 
tries from the ravages of this war. The American 
Government, then, should point out to all the nations 
that are placing restrictions on the American films 
that we shall lend our greater aid to such nations as 
do not place restrictions on American commerce. 

LET US SPARE THE PUBLIC'S 
FEELINGS 

Because this a tough, dirty war, it is understandable 
and desirable that war melodramas should be grim so 
that they can reflect to the civilians at home the fact 
that we are in a do-or-dic fight that calls for the great- 
est of sacrifices for each one of us. In other words, 
there is no room for "sissy" stuff in war pictures. 

Battle scenes that depict the injuring and killing 
of fighting men add a realistic touch to war pictures 
and give them the desired dramatic and inspirational 
effect. It is the type of action audiences expect to see 
in such pictures, and consequently, they find these 
scenes acceptable, though brutal. 

There is, however, another sort of realism that war 
pictures can do without. I refer to scenes that go into 
minute detail in their depiction of fighting men suf- 
fering in mind and in body. These scenes, though 
highly dramatic, cannot be classed as entertainment, 
for they serve only to add to the mental stress that 
most movie-goers are undergoing in these trouble- 
some days. The state of mind of today's motion pic- 
ture audience, which, for the greatest part, is made 
up of parents, wives, sweethearts, and relatives of 
the men in the armed forces, is not such as to per- 
mit them to gaze stoically at scenes depicting the suf- 
fering of a fighting man. 

To most picture-goers today, the fighting hero they 
see on the screen is representative of their own loved 
ones. Consequently, when they see that hero under- 
going excruciating mental or physical pain, his suffer- 
ings serve only to torture further their over-troubled 
minds, for they cannot help but think that their loved 
ones, too, may suffer a similar fate. 

That the public is in no mood to accept scenes 
depicting a fighting man's sufferings has apparently 
been recognized by MGM, and it is to its credit 
that it has done something about the condition. In 
"Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo," a fine war melodrama 



based on the factual account of Captain Ted Lawson's 
experiences as a participant in the Doolittle raid on 
Tokyo, over-emphasis was placed on the scenes deal- 
ing with the amputation of one of Lawson's legs. 
So realistic were the scenes depicting his mental and 
physical suffering, and the operation in which his leg 
was amputated, that, I am sure, many persons left 
the theatre with grief-laden hearts, saddened by the 
thought that a similar experience might befall their 
loved ones on the fighting fronts. 

In these times in particular, the loss of limbs, opera- 
tion scenes, and other incidents that depict in detail 
the suffering of a fighting man should be kept out of 
war pictures because of the adverse effect they have 
on the public's morale. In the case of "Thirty Seconds 
Over Tokyo," however, the producers had no choice 
in the matter since such scenes were a part of the 
factual account. Where the producers did err, how- 
ever, was in the over-emphasis given to these scenes. 
MGM, having realized this error, and being con- 
siderate of the public's feelings, has wisely eliminated 
certain scenes so that the part of the picture dealing 
with the loss of Captain Lawson's leg has been toned 
down considerably. 

The mounting casualties suffered by the Allies in 
past month has caused considerable concern to those 
with loved ones in the services, and the undue depic- 
tion of a serviceman's suffering causes them no end 
of distress. This state of public mind places a greater 
responsibility than ever on those who select story 
material for war pictures; their judgment will deter- 
mine whether or not the picture-goer is to obtain 
relaxation, which, after all, is what he seeks when 
he attends the movies. 

Sending people out of a theatre in an unhappy 
frame of mind helps neither their morale nor the 
theatre attendance. 



CONCLUSIVE VICTORY! 

Like a drowning man seeking to save himself as 
he goes down for the third time, the Crescent Amuse- 
ment Company, in a final effort to upset the Govern- 
ment's sweeping victory in its anti-trust suit against 
it, filed a petition with the U. S. Supreme Court on 
Friday, January 5, asking for a rehearing of its 
appeal, which the Court decided last month in favor 
of the Government. 

On Monday, January 8, the Court, without any 
formal opinion, rejected the petition for a rehearing, 
thus bringing the case to a definite close. 

The Government's victory is now conclusive. It 
marks a milestone in the independent exhibitor's fight 
for the preservation of his right of free competition. 



THE MARCH OF DIMES 

Once again the industry looks to the nation's ex- 
hibitors to raise funds that will help those who have 
been stricken with infantile paralysis. 

A goal of $5,000,000 has been set. 

As we go to press, the motion picture committee in 
charge of the drive reports that 10,000 theatres have 
already sent in their pledges for the collection cam- 
paign, which takes place during the week of January 
25-31. 

Harrison's Reports urges those who have not yet 
sent in their pledge to do so at once; no cause is more 
worthy of support. 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 



Harrison's Reports 

Yearly Subscription Rates: 1270 SIXTH AVENUE Published Weekly by 

United States $15.00 Rnnm 1R12 Harrison's Reports, Inc., 

U. S. Insular Possessions. 16.50 i\oora ioi6 Publisher 

Canada 16.50 New York 20, N. Y. P. S. HARRISON, Editor 

St Britain' ^ ^ 75 A Motion Picture Reviewing Service 

Australia New" Zealand ' Devoted Chiefly to the Interests of the Exhibitors Established July 1, 1919 

India, Europe, Asia .... 17.50 Ug Editoria , Policy . No Pro blem Too Big for Its Editorial Circle 7-4622 

Sbc a copy Columns, if It is to Benefit the Exhibitor. 

A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 

Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, JANUARY 20, 1945 No. 3 



The Exhibitor, Too, Has An Equity In Raw Film Stock 



The War Production Board's notification to the industry 
that it will receive approximately thirty million feet less raw 
film stock during the first quarter of 1945 than it received in 
the last quarter of 1944 is causing considerable concern to 
all branches of the industry, for the new cut will undoubtedly 
aggravate the already serious handicap under which they 
are operating. 

The suggestions for saving raw stock are many. They in- 
clude, among others, eliminating so-called "B" pictures; 
reducing the length of important pictures so that their run- 
ning time will be limited to ninety or one hundred minutes; 
curtailing, if not eliminating, the production of short sub- 
jects; greater use of short subjects as a replacement for 
second features; reducing further the number of feature 
prints in circulation; cutting down the length of news- 
reels; and tightening up on the waste in production by limit- 
ing the number of "takes" for each scene. 

According to some industry observers, this latest reduc- 
tion in the raw stock allotment, if continued on the same 
basis for the other three quarters in 1945, may result in 
about thirty to forty-five fewer features being released dur- 
ing the year than were released in 1944. Fewer feature pic- 
tures would, of course, add considerably to the difficulties 
the exhibitors are already experiencing as a result of the 
limited supply of prints, and of the artificial product short- 
age, which has been brought about by extended runs and 
moveovers. And the subsequent-run exhibitors, whom these 
conditions affect most seriously, will probably have to con- 
tend with many more problems than they now have to solve. 

An interesting angle, one that requires close study by ex- 
hibition circles, is the current method by which the WPB 
allocates to the industry its share of raw film stock produced 
in this country. The stock is allocated directly to the eleven 
distributors — without restrictions as to its use. It is entirely 
up to them to work out their own problems regarding the 
number of feet they will need for their production sched- 
ules, and the number of feet that they will require for 
release prints. They have the right to dispose of their film 
allotment in any manner they see fit. They alone determine 
how much of it shall go into the negatives, how much into 
release prints of current pictures, how much into prints of 
reissue negatives and how much into prints for the foreign 
market. 

Independent producers, such as Samuel Goldwyn, Inter- 
national Pictures, and those who release through United 
Artists, obtain their raw stock requirements from the dis- 
tributors with whom they have releasing deals. This method 
of raw stock allocation is causing considerable concern to 
some independent producers; they are experiencing diffi- 
culties in obtaining release deals with some of the major 
distributors. These distributors are reluctant to deplete their 
share of raw stock, for it would require that they curb their 
own production plans in order to accommodate independent 
producers from whom they can earn no more than a dis- 
tribution fee. The raw stock they allocate to an independent 



producer would not, in these days, give the distributers as 
much profit per foot as would the stock used on their own 
productions. 

The independent producers, however, have a right to 
remain in business and to make pictures. To do this, they 
must have raw stock. Thus it is evident that they have an 
equity in the raw stock rationed to the industry and, because 
of their protests, it is assumed that an equitable arrange- 
ment will be worked out with the WPB when it meets in 
Washington with the Industry Advisory Committee on Raw 
Stock this coming February 1. 

And what about the exhibitors? They, too, have an 
equity in the available raw stock, for their interests are 
affected directly and vitally by the manner in which it is 
used by the producer-distributors. What assurances are 
there that the stock will be used in a manner that, so far as 
possible, will be beneficial not only to the distributors, but 
also to the exhibitors? Absolutely none! 

Under the present system of film rationing, there is 
nothing, as said before, to prevent the distributors from 
disposing of this stock in any way that suits their purpose. 
They can, for example, reduce still further the number of 
positive prints they will make for each picture, and then 
use the stock thus saved for new productions that will only 
add to their already huge backlog of productions now 
reposing in their vaults. Such a move would serve to aggra- 
vate the conditions under which the exhibitors are now 
operating their theatres, and it would serve also to per- 
petuate the "seller's" market, in which the producer-dis- 
tributors are having the time of their lives. 

With the present print supply scarcely enough to take 
care of the exhibitors' needs, the producer-distributors have 
made and are still making the most of their opportunity. 
Rental terms, along with the demands for extended and 
preferred playing time, are way out of line. The situation 
as to both the shortage of prints and the excessive rental 
d mands has become so acute that many exhibitors have 
turned to reissues for relief. But this avenue of escape, 
too, has been blocked by the distributors, who, cognizant 
of the possible profits on reissues in a tight market, are 
demanding fantastic rental terms, percentage in some cases. 
The reissue field has now been turned into a profitable side- 
line — for the distributors. The exhibitor, desperate for prod- 
uct, pays through the nose. As a matter of fact, the reissue 
business has become so profitable that, on a number of old 
pictures, thousands of feet of rationed raw stock have been 
used for the making of new prints. Using rationed stock to 
make new prints of old pictures, which many exhibitors do 
not care to re-book, is a flagrant abuse of the exhibitors' 
equity in the stock, for its use in that manner deprives many 
of them of badly needed prints on new features. 

The lack of regulations controlling the distributors' use of 
raw stock brings up the very pertinent question of how they 
might use this stock to further their interests in foreign 
(Continued on last page) 



10 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



"The Great Flamarion" with Erich Von 
Stroheim and Mary Beth Hughes 

(Republic, no release date set; time, 78 min.) 

Those who enjoy lurid, heavy-handed melodramas 
should find "The Great Flamarion" to their liking. It 
is strictly adult entertainment; the story is too un- 
pleasant and sordid for children. The heroine is shown 
as an immoral, double-dealing woman, who makes 
love to her employer and persuades him to kill her 
husband, an inveterate drunkard, so that she could 
run off with another lover. Not one of these characters 
do anything to arouse the spectator's sympathy. The 
performances are good and the production values arc 
better than average, but the picture does not rise above 
the level of program fare: — 

Erich Von Stroheim, expert pistol shot in a vaude- 
ville act, falls madly in love with Mary Beth Hughes, 
who, together with Dan Duryea, her husband, worked 
with Von Stroheim in the act. Infatuated with a 
fcllow-vaudevillian, and unable to secure a divorce 
from her husband, Mary sees in Von Stroheim's love 
a means of solving her problem. She persuades him to 
murder Duryea during a performance, making it ap- 
pear as if the shooting had been an unavoidable acci- 
dent. The scheme works according to plan when the 
coroner exonerates Von Stroheim of responsibility. 
To avoid suspicion, Mary and Von Stroheim go their 
separate ways, agreeing to meet in Chicago on a speci- 
fied date to be married. When Mary fails to show up 
on the appointed day, Von Stroheim realizes that she 
had double-crossed him. Determined to find her, Von 
Stroheim searches in vain for a clue to her where- 
abouts and, after many months, penniless and broken 
in spirit, he finds Mary and her new husband perform- 
ing in a small Mexico City theatre. Cornered in her 
dressing room, Mary tries to vamp Von Stroheim, but 
when she senses his intentions, she snatches his gun 
and shoots him. He strangles her to death and, later, 
dies himself. 

Anne Wigton, Heinz Herald, and Richard Weil 
wrote the screen play, William Wilder produced it, 
and Anthony Mann directed it. 

"Hangover Square" with Laird Cregar, 
Linda Darnell and George Sanders 

(20th Century-Fox; February; time, 77 min.) 

A strong murder melodrama, capably directed and 
acted; it holds one's attention throughout, in spite of 
the fact that there is no mystery attached to the crimes. 
The action revolves around a mild-mannered London 
composer, whose split personality drives him to mur- 
der whenever he suffers a lapse of memory. The late 
Laird Cregar, as the composer, makes a very tragic 
figure, and one cannot help but feel sympathetic 
towards him. It is indeed ironical that in this, his last 
picture, Cregar dies in the final scene. One sequence 
that may prove too strong for sensitive stomachs is the 
one in which Cregar, maddened by the infidelity of 
Linda Darnell, a hard-boiled cabaret entertainer, mur- 
ders her and then burns her body. London's gas-light 
era, which serves as the setting, gives the proceedings 
an effective eerie atmosphere. The picture's gruesome- 
ness makes it unsuitable for children : — 

Cregar, after killing a store merchant during one 
of his mental lapses, does not regain his memory until 



he returns to his apartment. Noticing blood on his 
coat sleeve, Cregar becomes disturbed when he learns 
of the merchant's death. He visits George Sanders, a 
Scotland Yard psychiatrist, and expresses his fears 
that he might have killed the man unknowingly. After 
an investigation, Sanders exonerates Cregar, proving 
that the blood on his sleeve was his own. Delighted, 
Cregar goes to a pub for a drink. There he meets Linda 
Darnell, a sultry cabaret singer. In a gay mood, Cregar 
plays a melodius tune that catches Linda's fancy. 
Linda, realizing that Cregar's music would be helpful 
in the furtherance of her career, craftily entices him. 
He becomes so infatuated with her that he neglects to 
work on his Concerto, which he was writing for Faye 
Marlowe, his fiancee, whose father, Alan Napier, was 
a famed conductor. Eventually, Cregar realizes that 
Linda was playing him for a fool. Aggravated and 
suffering another one of his mental lapses, he murders 
her and throws her body on a huge fire celebrating 
Guy Fawkes Day. His mind back to normal, Cregar, 
unaware of his second murder, works earnestly on the 
completion of his Concerto. Meanwhile Sanders, in- 
vestigating Linda's disappearance, discovers evidence 
proving Cregar's guilt. Cregar accepts the evidence as 
conclusive, but eludes Sanders in order to hear Napier 
conduct his Concerto. When Sanders appears at the 
concert, Cregar, emotionally upset, overturns an oil 
lamp and starts a fire. He fights off efforts to save him, 
perishing in the blaze. 

Barre Lyndon wrote the screen play, Robert Bassler 
produced it, and John Brahm directed it. 

"The Big Show-off" with Arthur Lake 
and Dale Evans 

(Republic, Jan. 22; time, 70 min.) 
Just a moderately entertaining romantic comedy 
with some music, suitable as the second half of a 
double feature program. Based on the deception 
theme, the story is a far-fetched and at times silly 
affair, which is developed in so obvious a fashion that 
one becomes weary by the time the picture is half 
finished. In its favor are a few pleasant production 
numbers and Dale Evans' singing, but these musical 
interludes are not strong enough to carry the picture. 
Arthur Lake, as Miss Dale's befuddled suitor, is cast 
in a role suited to his particular talents. His antics, 
however, are quite familiar. The wrestling sequences, 
in which the combatants poke fun at the art, are quite 
amusing. Anson Weeks and his Orchestra furnish the 
music : — 

Lake, a pianist, in Lionel Standar's night-club, is 
too bashful to declare his love for Dale Evans, the 
club's singer, and too gentle to fight with George 
Meeker, his obtrusive rival for her love. Stander, to 
help Lake, tells Dale that the young man was really the 
Devil (Paul Hurst), a masked wrestler. Pleased to 
learn that Lake was not really a "Casper Milquetoast," 
Dale becomes interested in him, but she dislikes "his" 
vicious disposition as a wrestler and pleads with him 
to abandon the ring. Lake, however, finds himself com- 
peled to continue the deception as long as the Devil 
appears in the ring. At the arena one night, Dale, 
believing that she was watching Lake, hears the Devil 
announce his engagement to another girl. Lake, realiz- 
ing that the hoax had gone too far, tries to explain, 
but Dale refuses to listen. Matters become complicated 



January 20, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



11 



when the police, seeking to arrest the Devil on an 
assault and battery charge, are informed by Meeker 
that Lake was the masked wrestler. And to make mat' 
ters worse, the Devil's manager, who had never seen 
his wrestler unmasked, also identifies Lake as their 
man. The police urge Lake to confess, but the Devil's 
manager warns him to admit to nothing lest he be 
barred from the ring. Seeing an opportunity to get 
himself out of a predicament, Lake confesses to the 
charge. Dale, assured that Lake was through with 
wrestling, agrees to marry him. 

Leslie Vadnay and Richard Weil wrote the screen 
play, Sydney M. Williams produced it, and Howard 
Bretherton directed it. Claude S. Spence was associ' 
ate producer. The cast includes Emmet Lynne, Mar- 
jorie Manners, Sammy Stein and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Eadie Was a Lady" with Ann Miller 
and William Wright 

(Columbia, January 18; time, 67 min.) 

A fair program comedy, the sort that may appeal 
to audiences that are not too exacting in their de' 
mands. Like most pictures of this type, this one suf- 
fers from an inconsequential script; but it serves well 
enough as a means of putting the production numbers 
and the comedy across. Ann Miller sings a few songs 
well, but she is at her best when dancing. As a matter 
of fact, she does more dancing in this picture than she 
has done in her last few pictures. Most of the comedy 
falls flat because it is forced, but Joe Besser manages 
to get several laughs by his customary antics. One 
production number, in which classical and "jitterbug" 
dancing are combined, is both novel and amusing: — 

Ann, who lived with her socialite aunt in Boston, 
and who attended exclusive Glen Moor College dur- 
ing the day, furthers her theatrical ambitions by work- 
ing secretly in the evenings as a chorus girl in William 
Wright's burlesque show. Wright, unaware of Ann's 
family background, singles her out for a leading part 
in the show, and, through a ruse, manages to rid 
himself of Marion Martin, the show's leading lady, 
so that Ann could replace her. Ann makes a hit with 
the audience, but, lest she become a noted star and 
her double life be found out, she quits burlesque. As 
a result, Wright's show closes. Through Joe Besser, 
a former vaudevillian, who taught classical dancing 
at the college, Wright locates Ann and induces her to 
appear in a private show at an alumni dinner. Marion, 
seeking revenge on Wright, informs the police that 
an obscene performance was taking place at the din- 
ner. A raid takes place and among those arrested are 
Ann and the college Dean, who had been present at 
the event. When the college board of directors as- 
semble to take action against Ann and the Dean, 
Wright, posing as the head of the Athens Art Thea- 
tre, explains that Ann had appeared in burlesque at 
his request to gather material to be used in the col- 
lege's annual Greek Festival. With the Dean and 
herself cleared, Ann looks forward to a happy future 
with Wright. 

Monte Brice wrote the screen play, Michel Kraike 
produced it, and Arthur Dreifuss directed it. The cast 
includes Jeff Donnell, Tom Dugan and others. 
Unobjectionable morally. 



"A Song to Remember" with Paul Muni, 
Merle Oberon and Cornel Wilde 

(Columbia, no release date set; time, 113 min.) 
This romantic drama, based on the life of Frederic 
Chopin, the famous composer, and set to his inspiring 
classical music, is a finely produced picture. Class 
audiences, and music lovers in particular, should find 
it very satisfying. As for its reception by the rank and 
file, its chances are fairly good, for Chopin's music 
is melodious, the story, though highly Actionized, has 
considerable human interest, and the performances 
by the capable cast are excellent. Moreover, the set- 
tings of the 19th century period are magnificent, and 
the Technicolor photography is a treat to the eye. 
While no official credit is given, the superb piano 
playing that accompanies the action is said to be the 
work of Jose Iturbi, eminent pianist. Most of the hu- 
man interest is awakened by Paul Muni, as Chopin's 
music teacher; his unfailing devotion to his pupil, de- 
spite the composer's maltreatment of him, is at times 
quite pathetic. Cornel Wilde, as Chopin, is convinc- 
ing, as is his piano playing of the composer's works. 
Merle Oberon, as George Sand, the eccentric woman 
novelist with whom Chopin becomes infatuated and 
for whom he detaches himself from his friends and 
ideals, has a most unsympathetic part, but she plays it 
very effectively. The affair between them has been 
handled with delicacy : — 

Recognising the musical genius of Chopin as a 
youth, Joseph Eisner (Paul Muni) dreams of the 
day the boy will give a concert in Paris. It is not until 
Chopin's twenty -second birthday, when he is forced to 
flee Poland because of his involvement with revolu- 
tionists, that Eisner is able to take him to Paris. There, 
Eisner brings the young man to Louis Pleyel (George 
Coulouris), an important impressario, and tries to 
arrange a concert. Pleyel rejects the request, but Franz 
Lizst (Stephen Bekassy) , visiting Pleyel's office, rec- 
ognizes Chopin's talents and induces the impressario 
to reconsider. Through Lizst, Chopin meets George 
Sand, who helps him to establish a reputation in Paris. 
Chopin becomes infatuated with George and, against 
Eisner's wishes, accompanies her to Majorca. Under 
her influence, Chopin detaches himself completely 
from Eisner. The old man, impoverished, once again 
teaches piano pupils. Wearying of Majorca, Chopin 
returns to Paris but deliberately avoids meeting Eis- 
ner. Eventually, Eisner reminds Chopin of his pledge 
to contribute to Poland's liberation. Ashamed, Chopin 
breaks his relationship with George and, despite his 
ill health, arranges for a European concert tour to 
raise funds for his oppressed countrymen. The strain, 
however, proves too great for his frail body. On his 
death bed, he asks Eisner to bring George to him, but 
the strong-willed woman refuses his wish. Chopin 
dies, surrounded by his friends. 

Sidney Buchman wrote the screen play and col- 
laborated with Louis F. Edelman in its production. 
Charles Vidor directed it. The cast includes Nina 
Foch, Sig Arno, Howard Freeman, Maurice Tauzin 
and others. 



"The Big Bonanza" with Richard Arlen, 
Jane Frazee and Robert Livingston 

(Republic, Dec. 30; time, 69 min.) 
In the review that was printed last week, this pic- 
ture was erroneously listed as "The Great Bonanza." 



12 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



January 20, 1945 



markets. As most of you undoubtedly know, the British 
motion picture industry, as well as the French, Russian, and 
Mexican industries, are gearing themselves to give the 
American distributors a battle for control of the world's 
different film markets. It is indeed desirable that the Amer- 
ican distributors gain control of the foreign markets, for, to 
retain this control, they will have to produce good pictures. 
And when better pictures are made, the American exhibitors 
stand to benefit. 

In normal times, the important world markets had avail- 
able facilities and sufficient raw stock to make prints locally 
from the lavender prints delivered by the American dis- 
tributors. Today, however, particularly in liberated coun- 
tries, where such facilities are probably extinct, the Amer- 
ican distributors, in order to secure a firm foothold in a 
particular market, may have to deliver their own release 
prints. 

Since no separate raw stock allocation is made to the 
distributors for use in foreign markets, they would naturally 
have to draw footage from their regular quarterly supply. 
This, of course, would serve only to make more burdensome 
the conditions under which American exhibition is func- 
tioning. Harrison's Reports, as already said, is highly in 
favor of the American distributors' domination of the 
world's film markets, but it does not feel that this domina- 
tion should be attained at the expense of the American 
exhibitor. 

The situation calls for action on the part of the distribu- 
tors. One way by which they may solve this problem is for 
them to convince the Government of the important role that 
American films play in the extension of American ideals in 
foreign countries. They should point out to the Government 
that, more so than any other medium, American pictures 
create for the people of foreign countries a better under- 
standing of what we in the United States are like. And 
they might add that American films have been and still are 
a great influence for the expansion of American commerce. 
With the Government thus convinced, the distributors may 
be able to work out an arrangement whereby they could 
carry on their work in foreign fields without dislocating the 
American market. 

It can readily be seen from what has been said here that 
the method by which the WPB allocates raw stock to the 
industry is in need of revision. The distributors, with no 
regulations to control their disposition of the rationed stock, 
are in a position to continue using the stock in a manner that 
betters their own interests at the expense of the exhibitors. 
Unless the independent exhibitor organizations take steps 
to apprise the War Production Board of exhibition's equity 
in raw stock, and unless they seek regulations to control the 
disposition of the stock by the distributors, the hold the 
distributors now have on an exhibitor's operations may 
become much more severe. 

The problem is a complicated one, and its solution will 
require close study. The Industry Advisory Committee on 
Raw Stock would seem to be the logical body to conduct 
such a study, but thus far the Committee is composed solely 
of distributor representatives. This Committee should be 
expanded to include representation for both the independent 
producers and the exhibitors, so that the WPB, in allocat- 
ing raw stock to the industry, would be made aware of their 
equity in the stock. Perhaps, then, rules and regulations will 
be formulated to protect that equity. 



AGAIN ABOUT PRODUCTION WASTE 

Terry Ramsaye, edition of Motion Picture Herald, made 
the following remarks in the December 30 issue of that 
paper regarding this paper's three articles on production 



waste, which articles were published in the issues of Sep- 
tember 9, 16 and 2 J : 

"Something to get militant about is an essential of the 
operation of Mr. Pete Harrison's publishing policy, and 
these days he has to do a bit of looking about to find it. So 
it comes that he has recently had a spell of indignation over 
what he considers 'studio waste.' It seems to boil down to 
discussion of footage which is left on the cutting room floor. 
One suspects that arrangements to closely limit or eliminate 
that would prove decidedly expensive to the product. Pro- 
duction of pictures has not yet, and never will, reach the 
precision of pouring a casting. The pouring of the picture 
into scenes on film is quite as creative a process as the 
making of the alloys in the melting pot. No great work of 
words on paper was ever achieved without revisions after 
it had been made visual. 

"A set of figures comes back to memory. They pertain to 
Mr. Charles Chaplin's famous Lone Star two-reel comedies, 
a line of product which may in fact represent the highest 
final gross per negative foot in the annals of the art. Typical 
was 'Easy Street.' About 1 15,000 feet of negative was made, 
to get a final 1,650, less titles. It was about five weeks on 
the stage, at a cost of about $100,000 of which about 
$60,000 was Mr. Chaplin's salary. He left about 114,000 
feet of negative on the cutting room floor. It was part of 
his process of production — and that was not waste. Com- 
petitors were making two-reelers out of ten to twenty 
thousand feet of negative, and you cannot remember who 
they were. . . ." 

In citing Mr. Chaplin's comedies, particularly "Easy 
Street," my friend Terry Ramsaye has made one mistake — 
he has attributed the drawing powers of those comedies to 
the liberal use of negative raw stock. Would "Easy Street" 
have grossed what it did gross without Mr. Chaplin, even 
if the negative used were 250,000 feet instead of 115,000? 

In those articles on production waste, this writer con- 
demned, not the use of negative stock to make a scene 
perfect, but the wanton waste that a little careful prepara- 
tion might have avoided. His facts about this waste were 
obtained from reliable executives — men who were writhing 
with agony watching negative stock wasted. 

Can Mr. Ramsaye justify the use of 600,000 feet of nega- 
tive stock on a picture the length of which will not, I am 
sure, exceed when it is finally edited two hours of running 
time? The picture in question has not yet been finished even 
though nearly six months have been spent in cutting it, and 
the Saints themselves don't know whether anything would 
come out of it no matter how many film editors work on it 
to make it presentable. 

In bringing the matter of film waste into the open, this 
writer feels, as he stated once before, that he has contributed 
a great share in the elimination of waste. Those who are 
responsible for such waste know that the eyes of the industry 
are upon them. They will have to reform, not at some time 
in the future, but now, for unless the war in Europe should 
end quickly, a hope that seems unlikely to be fulfilled soon, 
there will be less film for the production needs: the Govern- 
ment will continue to reduce the industry's allotment, and 
every foot of film will be needed to carry on production. 

A readjustment is necessary now also for another reason : 
as this paper has stated in these columns before, the lush 
times that are prevailing now will not prevail long after 
hostilities end, and at the present cost rate, either the pic 
tures will fail to bring back the investment, or the quality 
will suffer. In either case, the industry will suffer. 

I was told recently by the president of one of the biggest 
companies in the business that, on pictures that cost more 
than one million dollars, at least $300,000 can be saved on 
each picture with proper economy. These are not my 
figures — they are the figures of some one who foots the bill. 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 

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Vol. XXVII 



SATURDAY, JANUARY 27, 1945 



No. 4 



A CALL TO ACTION 



In his annual report to the Board of Directors of Allied 
States Association of Motion Picture Exhibitors, at its meet' 
ing in Columbus, Ohio, this week, Mr. Abram F. Myers, 
Chairman of the Board and General Counsel, made these 
significant remarks in regard to the recent cut in raw stock 
allocated to the industry by the WPB: 

"There is no telling how much, if at all, the order of 
the War Production Board . . . will in itself affect the supply 
of feature pictures available to exhibitors. The trend towards 
curtailment of feature pictures has been in full swing for 
five years. Last season the Big Eight released a total of only 
259 and it has been predicted that even fewer would be 
released this season. The main vice of the W.P.B. order is 
that it affords justification for and lends respectability to a 
policy of the major companies that is proving disastrous to 
subsequent-run exhibitors. The producers, if they wished to 
be fair, could absorb all or a large part of the loss in footage 
by eliminating waste at the studios, by reducing senseless 
screen credits, and especially by reducing the length of the 
now over-long feature pictures. But they probably will pre- 
fer simply to reduce the number of pictures released and 
thereby tighten their control of the film market." 

Stating that abnormal conditions have enabled the pro- 
ducer-distributors "year after year to increase their net 
profits while at the same time reducing the volume of their 
output," Mr. Myers points out that they can now attribute 
their curtailment of output to the Government's reduction in 
raw stock allotments and, for the time being, silence criticism. 
Mr. Myers then urges the exhibitors to oppose in every 
possible way, through their organizations, the efforts of the 
producer-distributors to take advantage of the situation. He 
stresses the need for a greater degree of teamwork among the 
exhibitors than has heretofore prevailed and, in particular, 
cautions against the rejection without investigation or con- 
sideration of the ideas submitted by exhibitors in different 
territories as to how best to meet the menace of increasing 
film rentals. "The danger to the independent exhibitors has 
become so great," says Mr. Myers, "that the exhibitors — 
and especially the leaders of exhibitors — should welcome all 
means of resisting it." "As a matter of self preservation," 
adds Mr. Myers, "independent exhibitors everywhere must 
intensify their efforts to hold down film rentals." 

In stating that "the main vice of the W.P.B. order is that 
it affords justification for and lends respectability to a policy 
of the major companies that is proving disastrous to subse- 
quent-run exhibitors," Mr. Myers has indeed aptly de- 
scribed an existing condition that is deplorable. And his sug- 
gestions of what the producer-distributors should do to cut 
down the loss in footage, and his assumption that they will 
prefer to reduce the number of pictures released so as to 
tighten their control of the market, are sound, as is his 
recommendation that the exhibitors combat the distributors 
by intensifying their efforts to hold down film rentals. This 
last recommendation is a most important one, for the exhibi- 
tors' efforts along these lines can never be too great. 



There is, however, still another way to combat this de- 
plorable condition, and that is to attack and destroy the 
foundation on which it is built. And that foundation is the 
method employed by the War Production Board in allocat- 
ing raw film stock to the industry. 

As this paper pointed out in last week's editorial, the raw 
stock allocated to the industry by the WPB is given directly 
to the producer-distributors, who are not bound by any 
rules or regulations as to its disposition. Since the WPB 
does not concern itself with the manner in which the pro- 
ducer-distributors dispose of the stock, to them is left the 
working out of how much footage shall be used for positive 
prints of new features, how much for production work at 
the studios, how much to fill their needs in foreign markets, 
and how much for new prints of old pictures that are 
reissued. 

Under such a system of raw film stock disposition, the 
producer-distributors, unhampered by regulatory restric- 
tions, have been and still are disposing of their stock quotas 
in a manner designed to perpetuate what is known as a 
"sellers' market." 

One example of how this system affects the interests of the 
exhibitors is the situation the distributors are up against in 
Mexico. That country's motion picture producers, upon 
being notified that there will be a reduction in the quantity 
of raw stock available to them from this country for the first 
two quarters of 1945, became alarmed lest the reduction 
interfere with their elaborate plans to boost production this 
year. To alleviate the condition for local producers, Mexican 
officials have ordered that no raw stock allocated to Mexico 
shall be used for the dubbing into Spanish of pictures pro- 
duced in foreign countries. This order, of course, affects the 
American distributors mainly, and it will now be necessary 
for them to send their own stock to Mexico whenever dub- 
bing is to be done there. 

Ordinarily, this situation would be of no concern to 
American exhibitors. However, under the present method of 
raw stock allocation — a method that permits the producer- 
distributors to draw from their regular quarterly allotments 
whatever footage they need to protect and to further their 
interests, not only in Mexico but also in other foreign lands, 
the situation becomes one of primary concern to the Amer- 
ican exhibitors, for every foot of raw stock that is with- 
drawn from the already tight film market in this country 
serves only to aggravate the existing handicaps under which 
they are operating. 

The distributors' use of raw stock for foreign markets is, 
however, only one example of how the present system of 
stock allocation can be used to their advantage at the ex- 
pense of the home exhibitors. Among other advantages, the 
system affords them an opportunity to control the number of 
release prints in circulation and, as Mr. Myers pointed out, 
enables them to tighten their control of the film market. By 
merely maintaining a shortage of prints of new features, they 
(Continued on last page) 



14 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



January 27, 1945 



"Thoroughbreds" with Tom Neal and 
Adele Mara 

(Republic, Dec. 23; time, 55 mm.) 

A moderately entertaining program melodrama, 
suitable for neighborhood and small-town theatres. 
The story, which revolves around a young cavalry 
officer's devotion for his horse, is a familiar one, and 
it offers no new angles, but it has been told in a pleas- 
ant way. Moreover, it has some human interest as well 
as a few horse-racing thrills. The closing scenes are 
fairly exciting even though they depict the usual end- 
ing — the hero's horse winning the big race. The love 
interest is mild but pleasing: — 

Tom Neal, a sergeant in the Cavalry, is given a 
medical discharge just as orders arrive to mechanize 
the Cavalry and to sell the horses at public auction. 
Eager to own Sireson, his Cavalry horse, Neal bids 
for the animal at the auction but is outbid by Adele 
Mara, socialite fiancee of Gene Garrick, his barracks- 
mate. A feeling of antagonism springs up between 
Adele and Neal, but Paul Harvey, Adcle's father, 
who liked the young man, offers him a half interest 
in Sireson if he would train the horse to run in the 
Brookside Sweepstakes against Princess, Adele's fa- 
vorite mount. Neal accepts the offer. When an injury 
forces Princess out of the race, Adele and Neal are 
drawn closer together in a mutual determination to see 
Sireson win the race. On the eve of the event, Garrick, 
who was visiting Adele on furlough, overhears Roger 
Pryor, a gambler, offer Neal money to lose the race. 
Unaware that Neal had rejected the offer, Garrick 
becomes suspicious. A series of other incidents in- 
crease his suspicions and, ten minutes before post time, 
Garrick accuses Neal of trying to doublecross Adele 
and demands to ride Sireson himself. Neal, to protect 
Sireson 's chances, reluctantly knocks his friend uncon- 
scious and rides the horse to victory. Sincerely sorry 
that he had misjudged his friend, and aware of the 
fact that he and Adele were in love, Garrick gives 
them his blessing and gallantly bows out of their lives. 

Wellyn Totman wrote the screen play, Lester 
Sharpc produced it, and George Blair directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"Objective Burma" with Errol Flynn 

(Warner Bros., February 17; time, 142 min.) 
Very good! It ranks with the best of the war melo- 
dramas yet produced. From the moment a group of 
American paratroopers are dropped behind the Japa- 
nese lines in Burma, to destroy a radar station, until 
they work their way back to their home base, the 
spectator is kept on the edge of his seat. The action 
is fraught with suspense throughout as the men, 
stalked by Japanese patrols, fight their way through 
jungles and swamp lands against overwhelming odds 
and despite extreme hardships suffered during days 
of gruelling, exhausting marches. The encounters be- 
tween the Americans and the Japs are, not only highly 
exciting, but also extremely informative, for the 
methods employed for both attack and defense are 
shown in great detail. What impresses one is the ex- 
pertness with which the producer has depicted the 
jungle scenes; they are so realistic that one feels as if 
he were in Burma. Errol Flynn, as the Captain in 
charge of the men, makes a plausible leader. One ad- 
mires his resourcefulness in leading his men to safety, 



as well as his sympathetic understanding of their 
hopelessness. While the action holds one's interest all 
the way through, a cut of ten to fifteen minutes in the 
running time would not affect its dramatic punch. 
There is no romantic interest, and the cast is all-male. 

In the development of the story, Flynn and a group 
of fifty paratroopers are dropped 1 80 miles behind the 
Jap lines to destroy a secret radar station. After wip- 
ing out the garrison and demolishing the station, the 
men head for an abandoned airfield for a rendezvous 
with their transport planes. Jap patrols, searching for 
the invaders, make it inadvisable for the planes to 
land. Flynn radios the pilots to meet the men at an- 
other rendezvous two days later. Dividing his men in 
two columns, Flynn arranges for them to travel sep- 
arate ways but to meet at the designated spot in two 
days. Flynn's column reaches the rendezvous without 
incident, but the other column is waylaid by the Japs 
and wiped out. A supply plane, flying over the ren- 
dezvous, radios Flynn that there are no available land- 
ing fields and that he and his men must walk out 
through 1 50 miles of Jap-infested jungle. After days 
of gruelling marches and countless skirmishes, Flynn 
receives orders from the supply plane to change course 
and travel away from the home base to a designated 
hilltop. The men, stunned by these strange orders, 
doggedly obey and fight their way to the spot. There, 
after an all-night battle with the Japs, which reduces 
their ranks to only eleven survivors, they see thousands 
of parachutes billow the air as the Allies begin their 
invasion of Burma. 

Among those playing principal roles are Henry 
Hull, as a middle-aged newspaper reporter who fails 
to survive the ordeal; George Tobias, as a talkative 
paratrooper ; and William Prince, as Flynn's second in 
command. 

Ronald MacDougall and Lester Cole wrote the 
screen play, Jerry Wald produced it, and Raoul 
Walsh directed it. The cast includes James Brown, 
Dick Erdman, Warner Anderson and others. 



"The Jade Mask" with Sidney Toler 

(Monogram, ]an. 26; time, 66 min.) 

Average program fare. It is another in the "Charlie 
Chan" scries of murder mystery melodramas with 
comedy, and on about the same entertainment level 
as the other pictures. The story and treatment adhere 
to the series' formula, with "Chan," played by Sidney 
Toler, called in to solve the mystery. As in the other 
pictures, the comedy is provoked by "Chan's" son (Ed- 
win Luke) and by his colored valet (Manton More- 
land), who alternate at helping and hindering him 
in the solving of the crime. Since several persons are 
suspected, each having had a motive for murdering 
the victim, one's interest is held fairly well. The man- 
ner in which the murderer is finally exposed is far- 
fetched to the extreme, but it will probably satisfy 
the non-discriminating followers of the series: — 

Chan, investigating the murder of Frank Reicher, 
a scientist, who had been working on a secret formula, 
questions Hardie Albright, the scientist's assistant; 
Edith Evanson, his sister; Janet Warren, his niece; 
Dorothy Granger, his housekeeper; and Cyril Deler- 
anti, his butler. All lived in the scientist's mysterious 
home, and each had an apparent grievance against 
him. Unknown to Chan, Janet's boy-friend, a police- 



January 27, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



15 



man, had tried to visit her on the eve of the murder 
but he had been killed by Jack Ingram, who donned 
his uniform and gained access to the house in order 
to steal the formula. When the butler is found mur- 
dered, and when the housekeeper is rescued from a 
gas-filled chamber that housed the secret formula, 
Chan discovers different clues that put him on the 
trail of the criminal. Meanwhile Ingram, determined 
to obtain the formula, murders the scientist's assistant 
and assumes his identity by means of a rubber mask 
and wig. Chan, carefully following up his clues, 
eventually exposes the disguise and proves that the 
housekeeper had been Ingram's accomplice in an 
elaborate plan to steal the formula for an enemy 
country. 

George Callahan wrote the screen play, James S. 
Burkett produced it, and Phil Rosen directed it. 
Unobjectionable morally. 

"Tonight and Every Night" with 
Rita Hayworth, Lee Bowman 
and Janet Blair 

(Columbia, no release date set; time, 92 min.) 

A good combination of romance, music, dancing 
and some comedy. The lavish production, the Techni- 
color photography, and the popularity of Rita Hay- 
worth should draw the rank and file to the box-office. 
Not much can be said for the story, which is set in 
war-time London and which revolves around a valiant 
show troupe's determination to keep their show going 
despite the furious bombing of London ; the incidents 
are obvious, and the dramatic situations are too forced. 
Musically, however, the picture is satisfying, for the 
tunes are catchy and the dancing is good. One num- 
ber, in which Miss Hayworth does a strip-tease dance, 
is rather suggestive. Mark Piatt, who gained fame as 
a dancer in the stage play "Oklahoma!", is exception- 
ally good; his dance routine is the outstanding bit in 
the picture. The romance between Miss Hayworth 
and Lee Bowman is appealing : — 

Sympathetic to the aspirations of Marc Piatt, an 
unknown dancer, Rita Hayworth and Janet Blair, 
performers in a London revue, induce Florence Bates, 
the show's owner, to give him a trial. Piatt dances with 
the girls and, together, all rise to stardom. Blind to 
Janet's love for him, Piatt falls in love with Rita. But 
Rita meets and falls in love with Lee Bowman, an 
RAF Squadron Leader. When Bowman is ordered 
away on a secret mission, Rita, unaware that he was 
not permitted to communicate with her, dejectedly 
assumes that he had forgotten about her. But a visit 
from Rev. Philip Merivale, Bowman's father, who 
proposes for his son by proxy, soon raises her spirits. 
Upon his return from his mission, Bowman asks Rita 
to accompany him to Canada, where he was being 
sent to instruct fliers. Rita, mindful of the show 
troupe's determination to never miss a show, despite 
Nazi bombings, hesitates, but Piatt and Janet urge 
her to leave. Disconsolate at losing Rita to Bowman, 
Piatt goes to a pub nearby, where he is followed by 
Janet. Both die when a Nazi bomb scores a direct hit 
on the pub. With Janet and Piatt dead, and with Rita 
about to leave, Miss Bates announces that the show 
must close. Rita, feeling that Janet and Piatt would 
have liked the show to continue, decides to remain. 
She parts with Bowman, who understandingly ap- 
proves her decision. 



Lesser Samuels and Abem Finkel wrote the screen 
play based up on the play, "Heart of a City," and 
Victor Saville produced and directed it. The cast in- 
cludes Leslie Brooks, Professor Lamberti and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" with 
Dorothy McGuire, James Dunn 
and Joan Blondell 

(20th Century-Fox, February; time, 128 min.) 
Based on the widely-read novel of the same title, 
this emerges as a powerful human-interest drama, 
which on different occasions stirs the emotions to such 
an extent that it will be difficult for the spectator to 
hold back the tears. It is the sort of entertainment that 
will be understood and enjoyed by the masses, because 
it concerns itself with plain people, and tells its story 
in an honest, direct, convincing and realistic manner. 
By the excellence of the direction and acting, the spec- 
tator is made to share in the joys and sorrows of an 
impoverished family as they struggle to keep body and 
soul together in the hope that they will one day know 
a better life. James Dunn, as the father, makes a 
forceful comeback with is part. As a jovial, unem- 
ployed singing waiter, he arouses one's sympathy be- 
cause of his helplessness in that he cannot adjust him- 
self to earn a living for his family. His untimely 
death, while seeking work, gives the picture its most 
tragic and pathetic moments. The deep attachment 
between Dunn and his young daughter, Peggy Ann 
Garner, is stirring. Dorothy McGuire, as the practical, 
self-sacrificing mother, is excellent; with this part, 
she establishes herself as one of the screen's foremost 
dramatic actresses. Outstanding support is provided 
by Joan Blondell, as the man-chasing aunt; Ted Don- 
aldson, as the youngest child; James Gleason, as a 
saloon keeper; and Lloyd Nolan as the understanding 
policeman on the beat. The squalor of a tenement 
district in Brooklyn, a generation ago, has been repro- 
duced with such care that it gives the proceedings a 
realistic touch. 

Briefly, the story revolves around the monetary 
problems that beset the poverty-ridden family as a 
result of Dunn's inability to find a job. Worried about 
the coming of a new baby, Dorothy plans to take 
Peggy out of school so that she could go to work and 
help defray expenses. Peggy, a quiet, sensitive child 
of thirteen, dreamed of becoming a writer, and Dunn, 
a dreamer himself, had been encouraging her. Lest 
she be compelled to quit her schooling, Dunn deter- 
mines to find any sort of work. Thinly clad against 
the wintry blasts, he catches pneumonia and dies. His 
tragic death makes Dorothy's problems even more 
acute, but James Gleason, a friendly saloon keeper, 
employs the children after school hours, paying them 
enough wages to help Dorothy meet expenses. Shortly 
after the new baby arrives, and on the day both chil- 
dren graduate from grammar school, Lloyd Nolan, a 
shy policeman, who had for some time admired Doro- 
thy, asks her to marry him. Dorothy accepts his pro- 
posal, and he wins over the children by telling them 
that, though he cannot replace their father, he can be 
a good friend. 

Tess Slesinger and Frank Davis wrote the screen 
play from the novel by Betty Smith, Louis D. Lighton 
produced it, and Elia Kazan directed it. The cast in- 
cludes Ruth Nelson, John Alexander and others. 



16 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



January 27, 1945 



have compelled the exhibitors to turn to reissues to keep 
their theatres open. This print shortage has resulted in the 
reissue market turning into so profitable a business that some 
of the distributors have seen fit to reduce sharply the num- 
ber of new features they released normally in order to add 
more of the old ones to their release schedules. And as 
though this subtle forcing of reissues, at exorbitant rentals, 
was not enough, rationed raw stock, which is needed so 
badly for prints of new features, has been and is used to 
make fresh prints of the old pictures. 

The disposition of raw stock has gotten out of hand and, 
as this paper has already pointed out, there is immediate 
need for revision of the method by which the WPB allo- 
cates stock to the industry. A step in the right direction is 
indicated in a report by the daily trade papers that undis- 
closed industry sources have submitted to the WPB recom- 
mendations that the use of raw stock for reissues be banned 
so long as the tight film situation continues. While this 
recommendation, if adopted, would prove helpful, it would 
not in itself be enough to curb the distributors' overall abuse 
of their privilege to dispose of their stock quotas in what- 
ever manner they see fit. 

The situation calls for the formulation by the WPB of 
definite restrictions covering the use of the stock, designed 
to compel the distributors to recognize exhibition's undeni- 
able equity in the stock. And it is up to Allied and other 
exhibitor organizations to protect that equity. These organi- 
zations should seek and demand representation for exhibition 
at all conferences with the WPB regarding raw stock. They 
should make known to this Government agency the result 
of the distributors' misuse of the stock, and they should 
recommend that strict regulations be formulated to prevent 
its continuance. 

To repeat, there is immediate need for revision of the 
WPB's method of allocating raw stock, for therein, to a 
great extent, lies the root of many of the abuses that beset 
exhibitors today. 



COOPERATIVE BUYING 
ORGANIZATIONS 

In urging the exhibitors to intensify their efforts to hold 
down film rentals, Mr. Myers, in his annual report to Allied's 
Board of Directors, made the following observation relative 
to the rapid growth of buying and booking combines: 

"The rapid increase in cooperative buying reflects an in- 
creasing appreciation of the danger [high fi' m rentals], al- 
though in some instances it may represent only the efforts of 
self-seeking promoters. It would seem the part of wisdom, 
in all such ventures, for the exhibitors to retain a high degree 
of control over such organizations so that they will not de- 
velop into Frankenstein monsters. . . ." 

Harrison's Reports should like to add to Mr. Myers' 
wise observation that extreme caution must be taken by the 
exhibitors to make sure that any buying combine they either 
form or join confines its activities to the buying of film on 
better terms without in any way employing its buying power 
for the purpose of making it either difficult or impossible for 
other exhibitors to buy film. 

The U. S. Supreme Court, in its recent Crescent Case 
decision, took pains to distinguish between pooling the buy- 
ing power of independent theatres for the purpose of obtain- 
ing product on better rental terms, and a combination of 
exhibitors for the purpose of either depriving another ex- 
hibitor of an opportunity to obtain product or resorting to 
other acts, the effect of which might be to drive him out of 
business. The latter combination would be considered a 
conspiracy in restraint of interstate commerce, even if the 
conspiracy was effected within a single state, and would be 
punishable under the Sherman anti-trust laws. 

Exhibitors who join a cooperative buying organization in 
good faith and with honest motive should heed Mr. Myers' 
admonition. They should "retain a high degree of control" 



over the organization, in order to make it impossible for some 
"self-seeking promoter" to steer the organization away from 
its proper course. 



A NEW ZEALAND EXHIBITOR ADVISES 
THE AMERICAN PRODUCERS 

Hollywood heroics and excessive flag-waving in war pic- 
tures, about which Harrison's Reports has often com- 
plained, and which has been a source of embarrassment to 
the American servicemen, particularly those stationed in 
foreign lands, are apparently just as distasteful to our friends 
in New Zealand. Here is what Mr. Edwin R. Greenfield, 
managing director of Modern Theatres (Provincial) Ltd., 
of Auckland, N. Z., has to say on the subject in a letter 
dated December L, 1944 addressed to this paper: 

"May I through you, take this opportunity of uttering a 
word of warning to American producers. I give this warn- 
ing in sincere friendship and not by way of carping criticism. 

"If American goes on producing pictures as they have 
been in these last 12 months or so, they will not only ruin 
their market in English-speaking countries but also our busi- 
ness as exhibitors as well. This is quite apart from the very 
bad effect they arc having on non-American people politi- 
cally. 

"The people of New Zealand are sick and tired of war 
and flying pictures that are so theatrical that they make a 
joke of war. If producers could hear audiences laugh openly 
at the flag waving over-statements uttered in these pictures, 
exaggerating the ability and prowess of the American sol- 
dier, sailor or airman, they would realize that they are doing 
America no good. 

"We in New Zealand, through personal contact, have the 
greatest admiration for the real American soldier, sailor or 
airman; and the behaviour of the American girls has been 
absolutely outstanding. A close friendship has grown up, 
but it is more than human friendship can stand to hear the 
American fighting man spoken of in every picture we have 
as 'the greatest in the world' or 'the greatest in history'. We 
feel here, that England has also done a little bit in this war 
and we are also somewhat proud of our own New Zealand 
Division, small as it may have been. 

"The screen is a valuable medium for propaganda, but if 
that propaganda is laid on with such ludicrous exaggeration 
it kills its own value. A glaring example of why English pic- 
tures are now forging ahead in popularity may be seen in 
comparing 'DESPERATE JOURNEY' with ONE OF OUR 
AIRCRAFT IS MISSING'. The basic theme of this Amer- 
ican film is the same as the English one, but whereas every- 
thing in the latter does at least come within the realm of 
possibility, the former, with its humanly impossible heroics 
was regarded by our audiences more as a Mack Sennett 
comedy than as a serious drama. 

"I do hope you will accept this warning in the spirit that 
it is given, but we exhibitors here in New Zealand are find- 
ing our figures going down and down because of this type 
of picture driving the public away from the theatres." 

There is sage advice in Mr. Greenfield's letter. Will the 
producers heed it? This paper believes that they had better 
heed it! 



CHECK YOUR FILES FOR 
MISSING COPIES 

Look into your files and if you find the copy of any issue 
missing, write to this office and it will be supplied to you 
free of charge. 

Perhaps, during the holiday rush, you either misplaced or 
failed to receive the copy of one of the issues. A sufficient 
number of copies of many back issues is kept in stock for 
just such a purpose. 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 

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Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 3, 1945 No. 5 



MORE ABOUT RATIONING 
OF RAW FILM STOCK 

Emphasizing that independent producers must be 
given direct allotments of raw stock in order to sur- 
vive, Samuel Goldwyn, in an interview last Tuesday 
with the trade press, issued the following prepared 
statement : 

"More important than any previous issue facing 
the motion picture industry is the problem of ration- 
ing of raw stock by the W.P.B. 

"The question to be decided is whether the inde- 
pendent producers are to look to their Government or 
to the distributors for their raw film stock. Up to now, 
ration cards had been handed out to distributors and 
not to producers. The producers, as the original crea- 
tors of the industry, demand a standing that will per- 
mit them to survive. No longer do they intend to 
remain subservient to the distributors who, by holding 
ration cards, have in many cases possessed the power 
of life or death over an independent producer. 

"Newsprint, the other great medium of public ex- 
pression, has been rationed to the publishers and not 
to the wholesalers and distributors. 

"No producer complains because there is not 
enough raw stock to go around. They all know that 
there is a war on. Producers do complain that during 
a war the vast accumulations of finished films by the 
producer-distributor combinations is in effect a most 
dangerous and unsound hoarding. Some of these films 
have been stored away for a year or more. 

"We must prevent these accumulations and recog- 
nize that in effect, they constitute a hoarding that will 
strangle the creative efforts of the independent pro- 
ducer at the very time when the importance of the 
independent producer in this industry is greater than 
it has ever been. 

"There is a further point, a very important one, — 
which is that the purpose of film rationing is the public 
and for the public interest, — that and nothing more. 
In it, the independent producer has a great stake, and 
the public has a great stake in the independent pro- 
ducer. 

"The last point is that raw stock should be made 
available in increasing quantities for the distribution 
in the United States of pictures made in England and 
other foreign countries. An honest realization of the 
place of films in international understanding and in 
commerce would dictate this as basic and essential.'" 

Harrison's Reports has many times had occasion 
to differ in these columns with the opinions and poli- 
cies of Samuel Goldwyn, but in this vital matter — the 
method used by the War Production Board in the 
rationing of raw film stock — it agrees with him whole- 
heartedly insofar as this method affects the interests 
of the independent producers. 



Mr. Goldwyn sums up the situation well when he 
says that the distributors, under the present method 
of raw stock allocation, possess "the power of life or 
death over an independent producer." 

As this paper disclosed in its issue of January 20, 
the W.P.B. rations the available raw stock to the 
distributors only, and it does not impose on them any 
rules or regulations as to the stock's disposition. In 
addition to using whatever quantity of their quota 
they wish for new productions, for positive prints of 
pictures, for positive prints of old pictures (reissues), 
and for the foreign markets, the distributors furnish 
to those of the independent producers with whom they 
have releasing agreements allotments of raw stock for 
new productions. These producers — men like Gold- 
wyn and others who have been producing pictures 
independently for years — have no standing with the 
Government insofar as their raw film stock require- 
ments are concerned; they must look to the distribu- 
tors to fill their needs. And the deplorable part of it 
all is that the distributors are not compelled, either to 
give them some specific percentage of the rationed film 
stock, or to deal with them at all. 

In normal times, most of the distributors would 
have considered it good business to come to terms with 
a leading independent producer for the distribution of 
his pictures. In fact, it sometimes happened that the 
quality of the few pictures delivered by the indepen- 
dent was of a caliber that served, not only as the 
bright spots in an otherwise dull program, but also to 
raise the prestige of the distributor considerably. 

Today, however, the shortage of raw film stock, 
plus the abnormal theatre attendance, are enough to 
cool the distributors' enthusiasm for such a deal; every 
foot of raw stock given to an outside producer means 
that just so much less stock is available for the pro- 
ducer-distributor's own pictures, which, in these times, 
give him more profit per foot of raw stock than do 
the pictures of the independent producers from whom 
he can realize no more than a distribution fee. 

While Harrison's Reports has not heard of even 
one instance where a producing-distributing company 
has used its control over raw stock to freeze out an 
independent producer, it wishes to point out that, 
under the present method of stock allocation, such a 
situation is possible. Accordingly, a condition that 
enables one branch of the industry to possess "the 
power of life or death" over another branch should 
not be permitted to exist. 

This paper agrees that distribution has a definite 
stake in the available raw film stock. At the same time, 
the fact cannot be overlooked that both independent 
production and exhibition have equally important 
stakes. All three branches of the industry are inter- 
(Continued on last page) 



18 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



February 3, 1945 



"Roughly Speaking" with Rosalind Russell 
and Jack Carson 

(Warner Bros., no release date set; time, 128 min.) 

There is a charming, entertaining quality about this 
domestic comedy-drama, in spite of the fact that its 
pace is leisurely and its running time is much too long. 
Based on the autobiography of Louise Randall Pier- 
son, the story revolves around that lady's colorful life 
from 1902 to the present day and, through a series of 
different episodes, some of which are disconnected, 
depicts how she, as a progressive-minded woman with 
a determination to get the most out of life, failed to 
attain her objectives. The depiction of her unconven- 
tional family life and her financial ups and downs 
give the picture many humorous and pathetic mo- 
ments. Rosalind Russell, as Mrs. Pierson, gives a 
vibrant and charming performance, winning one's 
sympathy and admiration by her ability to retain her 
courage and unfailing sense of humor despite her 
many heart-breaking disappointments. She receives 
excellent support from Jack Carson, as her second 
husband, a happy-go-lucky fellow, who understands 
her ambitions but strives unsuccessfully to help her 
attain them. The production values are very good. 

The story begins with the death of Louise's father 
when she was twelve-years-old, and her determina- 
tion, at that age, to make something of herself. At 
eighteen, she enrolls in college to prepare for a busi- 
ness career, eventually obtaining a secretarial position 
at Yale University. There she meets Rodney Crane 
(Donald Woods), a banker's son, and marries him 
after a whirlwind courtship. In time, they are blessed 
with four children. Rodney prospers, and the family 
moves to the country. Tragedy strikes when the chil- 
dren are stricken with infantile paralysis. All recover, 
except a daughter, who is left a cripple. When Rod- 
ney loses his job, Louise carries on cheerfully, even 
finding employment herself. Rodney, his pride hurt, 
leaves her for another woman. Months later, Louise 
secures a divorce and marries Harold Pierson (Jack 
Carson), an admitted, irresponsible playboy, whose 
temperament was very much like her own. Harold 
endears himself to Louise's children and, eventually, 
he and Louise have a child of their own. They estab- 
lish a huge greenhouse business for the culture of 
roses, but they go bankrupt when the rose market be- 
comes flooded. They next become interested in a new 
type of airplane and, just when success is within their 
grasp, the stock market crash wipes out their backers. 
Despite these setbacks, they manage to put the chil- 
dren through college while they themselves go through 
varying stages of financial worries as Harold tries his 
hand at selling vacuum cleaners and doing landscape 
work at the New York World's Fair. Following the 
attack on Pearl Harbor, they see their three sons off to 
the war. With their two remaining children in a po- 
sition to take care of themselves, Louise and Harold 
again face an uncertain future, but face it unafraid. 

Mrs. Pierson wrote the screen play from her book, 
"Roughly Speaking," Henry Blanke produced it, and 
Michael Curtis directed it. The cast includes Ray 
Collins, Kathleen Lockhart, Cora Sue Collins, Alan 
Hale, John Qualen, Andrea King, Robert Hutton, 
John Sheridan, Jean Sullivan and others. 



"What a Blonde" with Leon Errol 
and Veda Ann Borg 

(RKO, no release date set; time, 71 min.) 
Despite the familiarity of its story, this program 
comedy should get by with audiences that are not too 
fussy. Discriminating patrons, however, will probably 
find the proceedings pretty dull, for the plot is devel- 
oped in so obvious a fashion that one knows well in 
advance just what is going to happen. The comedy 
situations, which range from slapstick to the bed- 
room-farce variety, are quite familiar as well as ludi- 
crous, but they provide enough laughs to make it 
amusing for those who are easily entertained. Leon 
Errol struggles valiantly with the material, and occa- 
sionally is pretty funny: — 

Errol, a wealthy lingerie manufacturer, is refused 
additional gas coupons by his ration board unless he 
obtains riders to share his car. Approached by Michael 
St. Angel, a young inventor with a process for making 
artificial silk, Errol employs him as a share-the-ride 
passenger. Richard Lane, Errol's butler, who retained 
his job because he knew of Errol's amorous escapades, 
invites a group of unemployed show girls, including 
Veda Ann Borg, to live in Errol's home and to act as 
share-the-ride passengers. Desperate for gas, Errol, 
whose wife was away visiting her mother, agrees to 
the scheme. Complications arise when Clarence Kolb, 
an over-pious, raw material tycoon, who was Errol's 
only source of supply, pays a visit to the house with 
his wife. Lest Kolb misunderstand and refuse to do 
business with him, Errol persuades Veda to pose as 
his wife, and arranges for her friends to pose as maids. 
Matters become even more complicated when Kolb 
decides to stay overnight. In the midst of this confu- 
sion, Errol's wife returns unexpectedly. To get out 
of his predicament, Errol tells Kolb that she was his 
housekeeper, and arranges for Veda to act as the 
young inventor's wife. There follows a series of in- 
cidents in which every one hides in other people's 
bedrooms until Kolb discovers the deception and sev- 
ers business relations with his host. Errol looks to the 
young inventor to take care of his material needs only 
to learn that his process cannot be used until after the 
war. With no gas and with no silk, Errol faces the 
gloomy task of squaring matters with his wife. 

Charles Roberts wrote the screen play, Ben Stoloff 
produced it, and Leslie Goodwins directed it. The 
cast includes Elaine Riley, Chef Milani and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"I Love a Mystery" with Jim Bannon, 
Nina Foch and George Macready 

(Columbia, Jan. 25; time, 69 min.) 
A better-than-average program murder-mystery 
melodrama. The story unfolds in an interesting man- 
ner and, since the involvements of the plot are not 
cleared up until the finish, one is kept pretty well 
mystified throughout. The story, of course, is far 
fetched; but this fact will probably be overlooked by 
the followers of the eerie-mystifying type of enter- 
tainment. There is no comedy to relieve the tension, 
nor is there any romantic interest. The direction is 
skillful and the acting good, but the players mean 
little at the box-office: — 



February 3, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



19 



Intrigued by the strange behaviour of George Mac- 
ready in a San Francisco cafe, Jim Bannon and Barton 
Yarborough learn that he feared decapitation at 
the hands of a peg-legged man. Macready tells them 
of a wierd plot on his life instituted by a secret oriental 
cult, which had offered him $10,000 for his head, be- 
cause he was the image of the cult's founder. The 
founder's body had been preserved for many years, 
but the head was deteriorating and a new one was 
needed to take its place. At Macready 's home, Bannon 
meets Nina Foch, his paralytic wife, and her actions 
lead him to suspect that her illness was faked. Bannon 
sets a trap for the peg-legged man, but his scheme is 
foiled by Carole Matthews, a mysterious woman who 
had atached herself to Macready in the cafe. On the 
following day, Bannon learns that the peg-legged 
man and Carole, who were father and daughter, 
had been murdered. Bannon, continuing his investi- 
gation, learns that the secret cult was non-existant, 
and that Lester Matthews, an art dealer, Gregory 
Gay, Nina's physician, and Nina herself, were work- 
ing together in a diabolical plot to drive Macready 
insane in order to gain possession of his estate. All 
three suspected one another of killing Carole and her 
father, who were part of the conspiracy. None, not 
even Bannon, knew that Macready had discovered 
their scheme and had committed the two murders to 
avenge himself. Lest Bannon find him out, Macready 
tries unsuccessfully to kill him. Fleeing from the de- 
tective, Macready overturns his car and is decapi- 
tated. Nina and her confederates are taken into 
custody. 

Charles O'Neal wrote the screen play, Wallace 
MacDonald produced it, and Henry Levin directed it. 
Unobjectionable morally. 



"Thunderhead — Son of Flicka" 
with Roddy McDowall and Preston Foster 

(20th Century-Fox, March; time, 78 min.) 
This sequel to "My Friend Flicka" retains all the 
wholesomeness, human interest and pictorial beauty 
of its predecessor; it is the sort of entertainment that 
should appeal to all types of audiences. The outdoor 
Technicolor photography and the exceptionally fine 
shots of horses roaming the range are so magnificent 
that they alone are worth the price of admission. The 
sequence in which two majestic white stallions have a 
fight to the death is extremely thrilling. An exciting 
horse race and a hunt for a wild, vicious albino stal- 
lion provide a number of other thrills. As in "My 
Friend Flicka," the story is a simple, sentimental tale 
about a young lad's love for his horse — this time, 
Flicka's foal,' and it has been told with considerable 
charm and feeling. Roddy McDowall, who again 
plays the part of the rancher's son, is very good; he 
has poise, and, by not overacting, gives credence to the 
part : — 

Thrilled when Flicka presents him with a white 
colt, Roddy plans to train it as a race horse, despite 
his father's (Preston Foster) warning that the colt will 
be as wild as its grandsire, a wild albino stallion that 
had been raiding Foster's herds, leading many mares 
away. Roddy, however, patiently trains the animal 
and, with the help of his mother (Rita Johnson), in- 
duces his father to pay a $500 fee to enter Thunder- 



head in a $5,000 handicap race. With Roddy as his 
jockey, Thunderhead shows remarkable speed and 
quickly takes the lead, but, towards the finish, with the 
race almost won, the horse pulls a tendon and loses. 
His racing days over, Thunderhead becomes Roddy's 
saddle horse. Meanwhile the $500 entrance fee had 
cut deeply into Foster's finances, causing him con- 
siderable concern. To make matters worse, the wild 
albino raids his herd again, killing a prize stallion. To 
rid himself and the neighboring ranchers of this 
vicious animal, Foster, taking Roddy and James Bell, 
his handyman, with him, determines to track down 
and kill the albino. While camping overnight, Roddy 
sees Thunderhead break loose from his stake and start 
off towards the hills. Roddy follows the animal into a 
hidden valley, where he finds the albino guarding 
many of his father's missing mares. The vicious animal 
rushes at Roddy, but Thunderhead comes to his rescue 
and, in a desperate struggle, deals the albino a death 
blow with his hoofs. Thunderhead leads the herd back 
to the ranch and, as a reward, Roddy gives him his 
freedom. The horse heads into the wilderness. 

Dwight Cummins and Dorothy Yost wrote the 
screen play, Robert Bassler produced it, and Louise 
King directed it. The cast includes Diana Hale, Ralph 
Sanford and others. 



"Here Come the Co-Eds" 
with Abbott and Costello 

(Universal, Feb. 2; time, 87 min.) 

Like most Abbott and Costello slapstick comedies, 
this one provokes hearty laughter in spite of the fact 
that the story is completely nonsensical. It makes use 
of many gags and routines, some new and some old; 
but these are, for the most part, comical. One sequence 
that will cause considerable laughter is where Cos- 
tello, eating a bowl of oyster stew, is molested by a 
belligerent live oyster. His antics in a wrestling match 
with Lon Chaney as his opponent, his participation in 
a girl's basketball game, and his sohg-and-dance 
routine with Peggy Ryan, are other high spots in the 
comedy. The musical interludes furnished by Phil 
Spitalny and his all-girl orchestra are pleasant : — 

Seeking to publicize his dancing sister (Martha 
O'Driscoll) , But Abbott "plants" a story in a national 
magazine that her ambition was to earn enough money 
to attend Bixby College, an exclusive school for young 
ladies. Donald Cook, Bixby 's young dean, seeking to 
modernize the school, awards a scholarship to Martha. 
Abbott and Costello accompany her to Bixby, where 
they obtain employment as caretakers. Cook's award- 
ing of the scholarship to Martha arouses Charles 
Dingle, who held an overdue mortgage on the school; 
he demands that Martha be dismissed lest he foreclose. 
Learning that the mortgage amounted to twenty 
thousand dollars, Abbott and Costello decide to come 
to the rescue. They rally the support of the students 
and, through Costello's participation in a wrestling 
match and in a girls' basketball game, in which he 
outwits a crooked gambler, they raise the necessary 
funds to pay off the mortgage and save the school. 

Arthur T. Horman and John Grant wrote the 
screen play, Mr. Grant produced it, and Jean Yar- 
brough directed it. The cast includes June Vincent, 
Richard Lane, Joe Kirk, Bill Stern and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



20 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



February 3, 1945 



dependent, for one cannot exist without the facilities 
and the aid of the others. Consequently, for the 
W.P.B. to follow a system of rationing that gives one 
a decided advantage over the others is a violation, not 
only of the intent of rationing, but also of one of the 
basic principles of our democracy — free enterprise. 

The independent producers' survival is of vital im- 
portance to the exhibitors, for their creative efforts 
have been and still are a major force in the progress 
of motion picture production. Moreover, their pictures 
serve to create keener competition among the distribu- 
tors. And the keener the competition the better off 
the exhibitors. 

It is to be hoped, therefore, that the War Produc- 
tion Board, awakened by the demands of the independ- 
ent producers, will take the necessary steps to rear- 
range its present method of stock allocation so that the 
interests of all branches of the industry will be pro- 
tected fully in accordance with war-time exigencies. 
* * * 

According to reports in the daily trade papers, the 
industry's advisory committee to the War Production 
Board on raw stock, which up to now has been com- 
prised of distributor representatives only, has been 
enlarged to include representation for the independ- 
ent producers as well as for the companies dealing 
with the distribution of reissues. 

This enlarged advisory committee was scheduled 
to meet with the WPB in Washington on February 1 
regarding stock allocations for the first quarter of 
1945. While the results of this meeting will not be 
known until after this paper has gone to press, it is a 
foregone conclusion that, because of pressure exerted 
by the new members on the committee, the WPB will 
re-arrange its method of allocating stock so as to give 
due consideration to the different interests the new 
committeemen represent. 

But where is exhibition? Why haven't the inde- 
pendent exhibitors, through their organizations, de- 
manded representation on the advisory committee? 
The independent producers, having raised their 
voices in protest, were given representation on the 
committee quickly, and it goes without saying that 
their protests will bear fruit. 

As this paper pointed out in last week's editorial, 
the root of many of the abuses that beset exhibitors 
today lies, to a great extent, in the WPB's failure to 
regulate the producer- distributors' disposal of the 
stock allocated to them. The WPB will not go out 
of its way to protect the exhibitors' equity in rationed 
raw stock unless the exhibitors raise their voices and 
demand that their equity be protected by regulatory 
restrictions on the disposition of the stock. It is high 
time the exhibitors stopped complaining to themselves. 
There is still a moment left in which to take the com- 
plaint to Washington and make demands for recog- 
nition and representation in a matter that is vital to 
their business existence. 



MORE ON SPARING 
THE PUBLIC'S FEELINGS 

Hollywood's lack of consideration for the public's 
present troubled state of mind has prompted the Inde- 
pendent Theatre Owners of Northern California to 
issue the following statement in a bulletin dated 
January 19: 



"The big shots in Hollywood have no ears, except 
for their 'Yes Men.' They will not listen to their 
Customers, the Exhibitors, who in turn listen to their 
Customers, the Theatre-going public. Time and time 
again the Exhibitors personally, and through their 
Trade Papers, have asked and begged the Hollywood 
Big Shots to stop using the War as a background 
for their pictures and to eliminate the heart-rending, 
tear-jerking scenes, the general public has enough 
trouble of its own without going to our theatres and 
having its heart pulled out. Have they listened? Have 
they acted? Hell no, they go right on in their stupid 
way, hurting the Industry and driving Patrons out 
of our Theatres. We know numerous people who 
are staying out of the Theatres because they refuse 
to be continually hurt. If you think we are kidding, 
read this reprint from one of Walter Winchell's Col- 
umns of recent date. 

" 'A Cleveland reader writes: "I lost my own son 
less than four months ago in the Pacific. He was 19. I 
write to ask your help in getting the movie makers to 
omit certain episodes. Last week was the first time 
(since receiving our tragic news) that my husband 
and I went to a movie theatre. So we chose one we 
thought would give us a lift. It was 'American Ro- 
mance.' The scene where the parents read the tele- 
gram from the War Department was almost more 
than I could bear, as it almost paralleled our own 
grief. Then we saw 'Janie' and it was full of similar 
misery for us all and, I am sure, other parents whose 
sons have been killed in action. Why doesn't the movie 
industry consider all of us and not open parent's 
wounds again and again?" ' 

"Exhibitors have to answer questions just like the 
above, and all we can say is 'The Fat Heads in Holly- 
wood will not listen to us or you, the Public. When 
they preview their pictures the more you cry the bet- 
ter they like it, and they think their picture is a suc- 
cess!' Our advice should be, stay out of the Theatres 
until after the War. Making a profit on the misery of 
others is bad business. For the morale of the coun- 
try Hollywood should produce only pictures that will 
lift up, not bear down." 

While Harrison's Reports does not condone the 
strong language this exhibitor organization has used to 
apprise the producers of their mistakes, it thoroughly 
agrees with its viewpoint. 



THE "BROWNOUT" ORDER 

Exhibitors who operate theatres in territories af- 
fected by the WPB's "brownout" order, which, until 
further notice limits the lighting of marquees to 60- 
watts and bans entirely the use of all other exterior 
lighting, may obtain permission for greater illumina- 
tion if they can prove that it is necessary for the public 
health or safety, or that the restriction places an un- 
reasonable hardship on their operations. 

In seeking greater lighting because of public health 
or safety, a certificate to that effect must be obtained 
from the local fire, police or health department. For 
reasons of unreasonable hardship, a statement setting 
forth all the pertinent facts must be made in writing. 
The certificate and statement are to be sent to he 
nearest WPB field office. 

The WPB has warned that violators of the "brown- 
out" order will be subject, not only to discontinuance 
of the electric service, but also to fine and imprison- 
ment. 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 

Harrison's Reports 

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A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 
Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1945 No. 6 



THE BITTER FRUITS OF INACTION 



As most of you undoubtedly know by this time, 
the War Production Board, at its meeting in Wash' 
ington on February 1 with the industry's advisory 
committee on raw stock, has announced that the 
industry will receive sixteen million feet less raw 
stock for the first quarter of 1945 than it received 
during the last quarter of 1944. Originally, the WPB 
had estimated that the cut would be approximately 
thirty million feet. 

This latest quarterly stock allocation takes on a 
special significance because, for the first time since 
the WPB began to ration raw film stock to the indus- 
try, it has seen fit to place a restriction on its usage. 
It has ordered the producer' distributors to limit the 
number of positive prints on new features to a maxi' 
mum of 285. The WPB has indicated, however, that 
this order will be relaxed in the event a distributor 
can prove that a particular feature has not exhausted 
its playing time and that the 285 prints or a portion 
of them are no longer in a condition to give satis- 
factory projection in theatres still to be played. In 
such a case, additional prints may be authorized. 

I don't know what prompted the WPB to confine 
its restrictions on the use of raw stock solely to a 
limitation of the number of positive prints processed. 
But I do know that a ruling more detrimental to the 
interests of the already burdened subsequent-run 
exhibitors could not have been made. 

The deplorable part of this ruling limiting prints 
is that, in effect, it permits the producer-distributors 
to absorb the cut of sixteen million feet at the expense 
of the exhibitors. Simple mathematics prove this. Let 
us assume, for example, that the eleven distributing 
companies will deliver approximately 400 feature 
pictures for the season. Dividing this number by four 
gives us 100 features for each quarter. To be con- 
servative, let us assume that an average of 20 fewer 
prints will be processed on each feature picture than 
have heretofore been made. This assumption is indeed 
conservative, since the distributors generally process 
from 300 to 400 prints on important features. That 
will give us a total of 2000 fewer prints for the 
quarter. Still keeping our figures conservative, let us 
say that the average length of each feature is 8000 
feet. Multiply this length by 2000 prints and you get 
a total of 16,000,000 feet saved, which is equal to 
the total cut in raw stock for the quarter. 

The aforementioned figures are, mind you, con- 
servative. To effect a still greater savings of raw 
stock, all that the producer-distributors have to do is 
to keep reducing the number of prints. And to those 
who would complain about a shortage of prints, the 



producer-distributors need do no more than refer 
them to the WPB's directive. But let us not concern 
ourselves with what the distributors might do under 
this latest directive. Let us instead examine the con- 
ditions that will be brought about by the producer- 
distributors' conformity with the directive. With 
fewer prints available, it follows that the subsequent- 
run exhibitors will have to rely more than ever on 
reissues in order to keep their theatres in operation. 
With fewer prints, it follows also that the producer- 
distributors' stranglehold on exhibition will be tight- 
ened. The limitation of prints will serve, therefore, to 
expand the producer-distributors' operations in the 
reissue market from which they are already realizing 
handsome profits. Just imagine, then, how much more 
profitable it will become when the exhibitors, desper- 
ate for product, find themselves compelled to book 
reissues. With no restrictions on the use of raw stock 
for prints of reissues, the producer-distributors, under 
their present policy of unreasonable rental demands 
for this type of product, will turn the situation into a 
veritable bonanza for themselves. 

The savings in raw stock at the expense of the 
exhibitor will serve, not only to bolster the reissue 
market, but also to further the producer-distributors' 
expansion of their interests in foreign markets. Last 
week, this paper discussed the difficult situation that 
the distributor had to face in Mexico, where the 
officials are demanding that foreign producers bring 
in their own raw stock for the processing of prints to 
be exhibited in that country. Now Argentina has be- 
come huffy. The officials of that country have in- 
formed the representatives of foreign film companies 
that they will restrict the number of pictures imported 
unless raw stock is allocated to the Argentinian film 
industry. According to a report in Film Daily, Argen- 
tina is demanding as much raw stock as there is in 
the number of prints sent into the country by foreign 
companies. Argentina and Mexico are lucrative film 
markets, and so are many other foreign markets where 
a similar shortage of raw stock exists. To retain their 
holds on these markets, the producer-distributors will 
have to draw from their regular stock quotas. There 
is nothing to stop them from doing so. Yet the fact 
remains that every foot of raw stock they withdraw 
for a foreign market makes just that much less avail- 
able for the home exhibitors. 

In view of the situation's seriousness, some ques- 
tions are very much in order. Why has a restriction 
been placed on the number of prints for new features, 
which are the life-blood of exhibition, while no re- 
( Continued on last page) 



22 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



February 10, 1945 



"Leave it to Blondie" with Arthur Lake 
and Penny Singleton 

(Columbia, Feb. 22; time, 73 min.) 

The followers of the "Blondie" pictures should find 
much enjoyment in this latest of the series, which is 
the first one produced in about two years; it will serve 
as a good supporting feature wherever something light 
is needed to round out a double bill. The story follows 
the usual pattern employed in the series, with Arthur 
Lake, as "Dagwood," finding himself in numerous 
predicaments as the result of a misunderstanding, but 
this time the comedy situations and the dialogue are a 
good deal funnier than that of the previous pictures. 
Even the musical accompaniment plays a very effec- 
tive part in provoking laughter. It holds one's interest 
well, for there is something happening all the time. 
The popularity of the "Blondie" radio program should 
mean something at the box-office: — 

Finding themselves with a $100 surplus after bal- 
ancing their budget, Arthur Lake and Penny Single- 
ton decide to contribute the amount to a charity fund. 
Each, however, unwittingly draws a $100 check for 
this purpose, giving the checks to different committees. 
Neither one has the courage to renege on the con- 
tribution, and both become concerned over the reali- 
zation that one of the checks will "bounce." Mean- 
while Larry Sims, their young son, finds an old song, 
"That Blue-Eyed Sweetheart of Mine," written by 
Lake's uncle twenty years previously, and, to help his 
parents out of their financial muddle, he enters the 
tunc in a song contest sponsored by Eula Morgan, a 
wealthy dowager, hoping it will win the first prize of 
$250. Unaware that Larry had put his name on the 
song as the composer, Lake is astonished when in- 
formed that he was one of the three finalists in the 
contest. Penny, blue-eyed herself, believes that Lake 
had written the song for her. Jonathan Hale, Lake's 
employer, seeking to sell some of his property to Miss 
Morgan, instructs Lake to change the title of the song 
from "Blue-Eyed" to "Black-Eyed," and to flatter her 
with attention as he sings it in the finals. Marjorie 
Weaver, a black-eyed brunette, is assigned to teach 
Lake how to sing. Penny, listening in on the rehearsal 
and overhearing the change in title, misunderstands 
and locks Lake out of the house. Lake spends a mis- 
erable night during which he catches a severe cold. 
His voice reduced to a whisper, Lake arranges for a 
special recording to be played behind the curtain while 
he goes through the motions of singing. Every one at 
the finals is impressed until the needle on the record 
sticks, exposing the hoax. Lake, helpless, confesses to 
Miss Morgan that he did not write the song and that 
he had an ulterior motive in flattering her. Impressed 
by his honesty, she buys Hale's property and arranges 
for Lake to receive a handsome bonus. 

Connie Lee wrote the screen play, Burt Kelly pro- 
duced it, and Abby Berlin directed it. The cast in- 
cludes Chick Chandler, Maude Eburne and others. 

"Sergeant Mike" with Larry Parks 
and Jeanne Bates 

(Columbia, K[ov. 9; time, 60 min.) 
Produced on a very modest budget, this is a minor 
war melodrama, best suited for the juvenile trade in 
neighborhood and small-town theatres. Adults will 
find it to be but mildly interesting. The story, which 
deals with the training of war dogs and their exploits 



in battle, offers little originality but it has enough 
action of the type to satisfy youngsters. A considerable 
number of stock shots have been incorporated into the 
footage. The principal characters are pleasant, but 
there is nothing outstanding about their actions. The 
romantic interest is mild and unimportant: — 

Ordered to report to the K-9 Corps, Larry Parks is 
assigned to train Sergeant Mike, a huge German 
shepherd. A letter from eight-year-old Larry Joe 
Olsen, the dog's former owner, inquiring about his 
pet, brings Parks to Baltimore where he visits the 
boy and reassures him of the dog's welfare. Parks also 
meets Jeanne Bates, the boy's widowed mother, whose 
husband had been killed in action. A mutual friend- 
ship develops and Parks promises Larry that he will 
make a hero out of Sergeant Mike. Their training 
completed, Parks and the dog board a transport bound 
for a Jap-held Pacific island. Leading a patrol, Parks 
and the dog head for the island's interior with orders 
to contact the enemy. The men grope their way 
through the jungle cautiously, and the alertness of the 
war dogs enable them to wipe out two Japanese ma- 
chine gun nests. Eventually, the men find themselves 
cut off by superior Jap forces. Parks dispatches Mike 
with a message to headquarters for reinforcements, 
which arrive in time to destroy the Japanese. Upon 
their return to the United States, Parks and Sergeant 
Mike are decorated for bravery while Larry and his 
mother look on with admiration. 

Robert Lee Johnson wrote the screen play, Jack 
Fier produced it, and Henry Levin directed it. The 
cast includes Jim Bannon and others. 

"The Chicago Kid" with Donald Barry, 
Otto Kruger and Lynne Roberts 

(Republic, no release date set; time, 68 min.) 

A fair gangster-type program melodrama. The 
plot, revolving around a conscientious young man 
who turns to a life of crime to avenge his father's 
death in prison, is routine; but it has enough exciting 
situations to give satisfaction to audiences that enjoy 
pictures of this type. The black market activities of 
the criminals give the story a timely angle. The per- 
formances are reasonably good, with Donald Barry, 
as the young man seeking vengeance, playing his part 
in a style that is reminiscent of the gangster roles 
played by James Cagney. The fact that the gangsters, 
including the hero, eventually pay for their crimes 
lessens the demoralizing effects of their acts : — 

Embittered when he learns that his father had died 
in prison on the eve of his release, Donald Barry, who 
had always felt that his father's conviction was a 
frame-up, determines to even matters with Otto 
Kruger, wealthy head of the auditing firm that had 
employed his father; Kruger "s testimony had con- 
victed him for embezzlement. Barry deliberately ar- 
ranges to meet Kruger, bis daughter, Lynne Roberts, 
and his son, Henry Daniels and, concealing his iden- 
tity, wins their unsuspecting friendship and secures 
employment in Kruger 's firm. Enabled to obtain con- 
fidential information on government- frozen commodi- 
ties stored in warehouses, Barry teams up with Tom 
Powers, a racketeer, and arranges for a series of ware- 
house robberies, storing the loot in a warehouse of 
their own for black market distribution. Despite his 
love for Lynne, Barry determines to frame her father 
in connection with the robberies. One day, however, 



February 10, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



23 



he discovers evidence that convinces him of his father's 
guilt and proves that Kruger had protected him from 
a more serious charge. Powers, unaware of the changed 
state of affairs, arranges to have Kruger murdered in 
the belief that he was doing Barry a favor. Barry, 
conscience-stricken, resigns his position. Too involved 
to discontinue his illegal activities, Barry becomes 
callous and replaces Powers as leader of the gang. The 
police, suspicious of Barry's transportation business, 
which served as a front for his black market dealings, 
ask Lynne and her brother to help trap Barry. Young 
Daniels, scoffing at their suspicions, agrees to secure a 
job in Barry's office and to report secretly to them; he 
meant to prove Barry's innocence. Powers, learning 
of Daniels' connection with the police, attempts to kill 
the lad, but Barry saves him. To protect Barry from 
the gang, Lynne and Daniels take him to their moun' 
tain lodge. The gang follows them and, in a showdown 
fight, Barry wipes them out and is himself wounded 
fatally. Dying, he makes a full confession to Lynne. 

Jack Townley wrote the screen play, Eddy White 
produced it, and Frank McDonald directed it. The 
cast includes Chick Chandler, Joseph Crehan, Paul 
Harvey and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"It's in the Bag" with Fred Allen, 
Jack Benny and Binnie Barnes 

(United Artists, no release date set; time, 87 min.) 

Very entertaining. It is not an hilarious comedy, 
but it does keep one chuckling all the way through. 
The story, which revolves around Fred Allen's misad' 
ventures as he tries to prevent three crooks from 
swindling him out of a huge inheritance, makes little 
sense, but it serves very well as a means to tie in a 
number of highly amusing sequences in which Allen 
trades gags with Jack Benny, William Bendix, Robert 
Benchley, Jerry Colonna, and Minerva Pious, the 
"Mrs. Nussbaum" of radio fame. Another comical 
sequence is the one in which Allen appears with Don 
Ameche, Victor Moore, and Rudy Vallee as singing 
waiters in a "Gay Nineties Cafe." One of the funniest 
situations concerns Allen's troubles with ushers in an 
over-crowded movie house as they shunt him from one 
aisle to another in his search for seats. The action 
slows down occasionally, but for the most part the 
pace is lively. Allen's current popularity, and the 
drawing powers of the other players, should put the 
picture over pretty well : — 

Allen, a penniless flea circus owner, learns from the 
newspapers that he had inherited twelve million dob 
lars from a grand-uncle who had died under mysteri- 
ous circumstances. With his wife, Binnie Barnes, his 
daughter, Marion Pope, and his young son, Dickie 
Tyler, Allen moves into a swanky penthouse apart- 
ment and splurges wildly on clothes and other lux- 
uries. On the following day, he learns from John 
Carradine, his uncle's crooked attorney, that the for- 
tune had been dissipated and that his sole inheritance 
was five antique chairs. Distracted, Allen returns to 
his hotel to face his many financial commitments. 
When the five chairs arrive, Allen sells them to an 
antique dealer for $300. Shortly after, a bank messen- 
ger arrives with a sealed package containing a record- 
ing of his uncle's voice. In his "voice from the grave," 
the uncle informs Allen that his partner (John Mil- 
jan) and Carradine had swindled him out of his 



millions, but that he had salvaged $300,000, which 
he had concealed in one of the five chairs. Allen be- 
comes frantic when he learns that the chairs had been 
resold and that the list of purchasers had been de- 
stroyed by fire. His search for the missing chairs leads 
him into a series of misadventures with numerous per- 
sons, and he even finds himself suspected of murdering 
his uncle. It is not until he locates the fifth chair in the 
office of William Bendix, a notorious gangster, that 
Allen, with Bendix's aid, retrieves the $300,000 and 
brings his uncle's murderers to justice. 

Jay Dratler and Alma Reville wrote the screen 
play, Jack H. Skirball produced it, and Richard Wal- 
lace directed it. The cast includes William Terry, 
Sidney Toler, George Cleveland, Emory Parnell and 
others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"The Kid Sister" with Judy Clark 
and Roger Pryor 

(PRC, Feb. 6; time, 55 min.) 
Just a minor program comedy. Those who look for 
fast action may find this somewhat tiresome because 
it is mostly dialogue; it may, however, entertain au' 
diences that can be amused at the antics of a 'teen- 
aged, love-struck girl. Not only is the story thin, but 
it has been developed in a weak manner and fails to 
carry a punch. Parts of the picture seem lifeless, but 
the meager story material, not the players, is to be 
blamed : — 

Revolting against her mother's insistence that she 
remain in the background until Constance Worth, 
her older sister, acquired a husband, Judy Clark de- 
termines to follow her romantic deeires. When Roger 
Pryor, a wealthy bachelor, is invited to dinner at her 
home, Judy, forbidden to attend, poses as the maid 
and receives him. The ruse riles her mother and, Judy, 
to escape her wrath, sneaks out of the house through a 
bedroom window. She is seen by Frank Jenks, a 
prowling burglar, who, believing her to be a member 
of his craft, drives her away in a stolen car. Pursued 
by a motorcycle policeman, they stop the car and 
escape on foot. The policeman overtakes Judy on the 
grounds of Pryor 's estate, but he releases her when 
she convinces him that she was employed there as a 
maid. Judy, confronted by Clark, becomes aware that 
she had aroused his interest. She allows him to think 
that she was a female "raffles" and agrees to let him 
"save" her. Matters become complicated when Jenks 
shows up to rescue his "partner-in-crime." Judy fights 
him off, forcing him to flee, but the incident compels 
her to reveal her identity to Pryor, who becomes 
peeved at having been victimized. Weeks later, at an- 
other dinner party in her home, Judy and Pryor sneak 
away for an evening of dancing. Returning late, they 
find themselves confronted by Richard Byron, Judy's 
irate schoolday sweetheart. While Pryor tries to calm 
the young man, Judy dashes into the house only to be 
stopped by Jenks, who accuses her of double-crossing 
him and demands to be led to the safe. After a series 
of misadventures in which the whole household is 
aroused, Judy succeeds in trapping the burglar. She 
and Pryor announce their engagement much to the 
consternation of her bewildered mother and sister. 

Fred Myton wrote the screen play, Sigmund Neu- 
feld produced it, and Sam Newfield directed it. The 
cast includes Minerva Urecal, Ruth Robinson and 
others. 



24 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



February 10, 1945 



strictions have been placed on the use of rationed raw 
stock for (a) prints of reissues; (b) short subjects; 
(c) the producer-distributors' expansion in foreign 
markets; (d) new productions that will add to back' 
logs that are already in excess of the market's require- 
ments; (e) features of excessive length; (f) Techi- 
color productions, which require approximately 25% 
more raw stock than is used on a black and white 
feature of equal length? By what line of reasoning, 
or, shall we say, by whose line of reasoning has the 
WPB determined that the raw stock situation will 
best be alleviated by a limitation of prints only? 

Harrison's Reports assumes that the WPB based 
its determination on the recommendations of the 
industry's advisory committee on raw stock with 
whom it has been meeting at regular intervals. The 
purpose of this committee, as this paper understands 
it, is to keep the WPB advised of the industry's prob- 
lems with respect to the raw stock shortage, and to 
recommend in accordance with war time exigencies 
ways and means with which to meet the shortage. 
But who are the members of this committee and 
what are their affiliations? Every member represents 
cither production or distribution. Not one represents 
exhibition. 

Harrison's Reports has no grievance against the 
producer-distributors for their being the only ones 
represented on the committee. Nor docs it quarrel 
with the WPB for dealing with them and accepting 
their recommendations. The producer-distributors are 
doing the natural thing to protect their interests, and 
the WPB, hearing only their side of the story, accepts 
their word and acts accordingly. Had the exhibitors, 
as this paper urged repeatedly, presented their side 
of the story to the WPB, in all probabilities rules and 
regulations would have been formulated to protect 
their interests, and a restriction limiting the number 
of prints might not have come into being. 

What better example can the exhibitors have of 
the power of a unified protest than the one raised by 
the independent producers regarding the WPB's 
policy of allocating raw stock to the distributors only? 
The independent producers protested that this policy 
placed them at the mercy of the distributors whose 
control of the stock gave them the power of life or 
death over independent production. The WPB recog- 
nized the justice of their claim and, as a result of their 
protests, modified its policy so that each qualified 
independent producer would receive a stock quota 
directly from the Government with the right to trans- 
fer his quota from one distributor to another. 

In arranging for these separate allocations, Stanley 
Adams, head of the WPB Consumers Durable Goods 
Division, stated that his bureau would make certain 
that no producer or distributor uses his raw stock as 
a lever for advantage over the other. There is no rea- 
son to believe that Mr. Adams feels differently about 
the producer-distributors using this same stock as a 
lever for advantage over the exhibitors. But until ex- 
hibition makes known its equity in raw stock, and 
until it makes known the abuses it is undergoing as 
a result of the producer- distributors' indiscriminate 
use of the stock, no one can expect Mr. Adams to 
take any action. 

Having urged the exhibitors for many weeks to 
take action in this matter, this paper was indeed 
gratified to learn that the Independent Theatre 



Owners Association of New York, roused by the 
order limiting the number of prints, and realizing 
that it would bring hardship to subsequent-run ex- 
hibitors, telegraphed Mr. Adams last week-end and 
demanded an immediate hearing to discuss the facts. 
The ITOA's telegram pointed out that "there can be 
no quarrel with an order which is equitable to all 
parties concerned, but this order will be so discrimina- 
tory that an irreparable injustice will be heaped upon 
the subsequent-run independent exhibitors of this 
country." 

The ITOA is to be commended for being the first 
exhibitor organization to take the lead in seeking rec- 
ognition of the exhibitor's equity in rationed raw 
stock. To succeed, they will require strong support 
from independent exhibitors throughout the country. 

The use of raw stock in these days is a matter of 
vital importance to every exhibitor, regardless of 
what run he enjoys. Its equitable use can be beneficial; 
its misuse, detrimental. The present situation calls 
for immediate action. Send your protests, either by 
telegraph or letter, to Mr. Stanley Adams, Director, 
War Production Board, Consumers Durable Goods 
Division, Washington, D. C. Tell him why a reduc- 
tion of feature prints will affect your operations, and 
demand that rules and regulations be formulated to 
control the use of raw stock in a manner that will not 
permit the producer-distributors to hold an advantage 
over the exhibitor. 

As it has already been said, Mr. Adams has made 
clear that his department will not allow the dis- 
tributors or the independent producers to use their 
raw stock quotas as a club over one another. By the 
same line of reasoning, it is fair to assume that he 
will not allow these two branches of the industry to 
use those same quotas as a club over the exhibitors. 
But unless you, the exhibitors, call his attention to 
the abuses arising out of the misuse of raw stock, you 
cannot expect him to give you relief. 



REPUBLIC MOVES AHEAD 

The recent announcement by Herbert J. Yates, Sr., 
president of Republic Pictures, that his company had 
concluded a special producing-directing pact with 
Frank Borzage marks a huge step forward in the many 
strides Republic has made in its ten-year history. 

The contract, in which Borzage enjoys a substantial 
financial interest and which is for a long term, calls 
for the institution of a separate producing unit with 
Borzage the sole authority over stories and plays to be 
purchased and produced, and stars to be featured. 
According to Mr. Yates, each Borzage production will 
be in the top-budget bracket, costing well in excess of 
one and one-half million dollars. 

Mr. Yates has stated that the Borzage arrangement 
is but the first of other similar associations being 
planned, all aimed at greater expansion of the com- 
pany's activities in both production and distribution. 

Since its inception ten years ago, Republic's rise 
under Yates' expert leadership has been sound and 
steady. The advancement of the smaller companies 
has always been of special interest to Harrison's 
Reports, and it predicts that Republic, with a few 
more arrangements similar to the one with B>rzage, 
will soon be classed as one of the big companies in 
the business. 



IN TWO SECTIONS— SECTION ONE 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 

Harrison's Reports 

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A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 



Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 1945 No. 7 



The Department of Justice Means Business 



As most of you know, the United States Government, 
through the Department of Justice, has made application 
to proceed with the trial of the New York antitrust case, 
in which the Consent Decree had been entered against the 
five consenting distributors. When it was found that the trial 
could not take place until the fall of this year, the Govern' 
ment applied for temporary relief pending the outcome of 
the trial and the entry of a final decree. In its brief supporting 
the application for temporary relief, the Department of Jus- 
tice has worked out a case against the distributors on the 
subject of clearance which seems to be as powerful as it is 
astounding. 

Abram F. Myers, General Counsel of National Allied, in 
a release dated February 9, 1945, analyzes the brief in so 
clear a manner that its subject matter and its significance 
can be understood by the layman. And, since Harrison's 
Reports considers the matter of the New York anti-trust 
suit of importance to every one in the industry, the pertinent 
portions of Mr. Myers' release are herewith reproduced. Says 
Mr. Myers: 

"The temporary relief requested is confined to clearance, 
more especially unreasonable clearance granted to affiliated 
theatres. ... In the nature of the case, the relief available on 
a motion in advance of a trial on the merits is limited. But 
while narrow in scope the requested order, if granted, will be 
devastating in its effect upon the elaborate clearance system 
which the defendants have built up for the protection of 
their affiliated prior-run theatres. 

"But the real significance of the Government's brief, 
which appears to have been overlooked in the comments thus 
far made, is that it raises legal questions which strike at the 
very foundations of the defendants' monopoly. A weakness 
of the defendants — which has cropped out in all attempts 
by exhibitors to discuss industry problems with them- — is that 
they have stressed the legality of each act or practice, con- 
sidered separately and apart from all the others, and have 
closed their eyes to the altered legal status of such acts and 
practices when viewed as parts of a system or combination. 
The Government's brief should jar them into an over-all 
survey of the legal predicament into which they have drifted. 
"LEGALITY OF CLEARANCE 

"The brief treats of clearance from the standpoints of 
economics, the law, and enforceability. It is, in effect, a 
searching treatise on the subject and is bound to have a 
profound influence on industry practices. Clearance, it points 
out, obviously restricts the ability of one theatre to compete 
with another; therefore, an agreement fixing clearance is a 
violation of the Sherman Act, unless the restraint is a reason- 
able one. Such restrictions have in the past been imposed by 
the distributors on the theory that their copyrights entitle 
them to impose such conditions 'as are necessary and appro- 
priate to realize maximum revenue from the exploitation of 
the copyright.' Upon this theory, the distributors have cus- 
tomarily undertaken to fix the minimum admission prices 
at which their films should be exhibited to the public. The 
brief sets forth, in the appendix, excerpts from the exhibition 
contracts of the five consenting defendants showing that 
maintenance of those minimum prices is made a condition of 
the enjoyment of such run and clearance privileges as the 
distributor grants. 



"It is then pointed out that the prescribed minimum ad- 
mission price is not a price paid for the right to exhibit the 
picture — the consideration for that right is the film rental 
stipulated in the license. At this stage the brief brushes aside 
all distinction betwen pictures licensed on flat rentals and 
those licensed on percentage. In either case, it says, the 
amount of the film rental will vary with the ability of the 
film to attract patrons to the theatre and thus, in both cases, 
the distributor has a 'stake' in the exhibitor's admission 
prices. Thus the Government, in its first line of attack, takes 
the extreme position that any attempt by the distributors to 
regulate admission prices, regardless of the terms under 
which the film is licensed, constitutes resale price main- 
tenance in violation of the Sherman Act. But the most deadly 
blow aimed at the heart of the defendants' monopoly is con- 
tained in a later passage. 

"The brief recites that each of the five consenting de- 
fendants — Fox, Loew, Paramount, RKO and Warner — 
(1) controls a large circuit of theatres, (2) licenses films to 
its own circuit, the circuits owned by the others and theatres 
competing with them, by license agreements which fix the 
minimum admission prices to be charged by all of the 
theatres licensed, (3) maintenance of those admission prices 
is tied to run and clearance provisions determining the rela- 
tive time at which films licensed become available for exhibi- 
tion in competing theatres. The brief then ties all this up 
into a bundle which might aptly be labeled 'Gigantic Price- 
Fixing Combination.' It says: 

" 'We submit that such a system of admission price-fixing 
by cross-licensing is prima facie illegal because it is in effect 
a means by which affiliated theatre operators, through their 
distribution affiliates, agree with each other as to the admis- 
sion prices that should be charged by their various theatres 
in the competitive areas in which each operates and as to 
those to be charged by independent theatre operators who 
compete with these affiliated theatres. Such a price-fixing 
system is unreasonable per se and may not be justified under 
the Sherman Act by any proof that these defendants might 
offer.' 

"A BLOW FOR LIBERTY 

"Independent exhibitors will be gratified that the brief 
strikes a blow at the gradual usurpation by the distributors 
of control over the operating policies of the theatres — an 
encroachment against which Allied has many times pro- 
tested. Ownership of the copyright of a feature film is only 
one of the many property rights involved in the exhibition of 
motion pictures. The brief speaks a word for good old brick 
and mortar. The distributors are reminded that they do not 
sell their film to the thcatrc-going public; that they merely 
license it to the exhibitor. And the exhibitor does not sub- 
license it to the public 'but sells his patrons the right to 
witness a performance ... of which the exhibition of a single 
feature film may be only a part.' 'The exhibitor," says the 
brief, 'who possesses the theatre, determines the program of 
entertainment to be offered and collects the admission fees 
which make the exhibition of the film profitable, would nor- 
mally determine independently the price at which that enter- 
tainment should be made available to the public. . . .' 
(Continued on last page) 



26 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



February 17, 1945 



"Frisco Sal" with Susanna Foster, 
Turhan Bey and Alan Curtis 

(Universal, Feb. 23; time, 94 min.) 

Even though this is colorful and more or less melodramatic, 
it seldom rises above the level of fair entertainment. At 
times, it is quite tedious. The story, which deals with the 
hurly-burly days of San Francisco's Barbary Coast during 
the gay nineties, has been done many times, and this version 
offers little that is either original or outstanding. With the 
exception of two slapstick saloon brawls, the action is 
liesurely. Susanna Foster's singing is, of course, delightful. 
The performances are adequate enough, considering the fact 
that the players were up against story material that is not 
only trite but also thin: — 

Arriving at San Francisco's Barbary Coast to seek in- 
formation on the reported murder of her brother, whom she 
had not seen for many years, Susanna Foster, a New Eng- 
land choir singer, blunders into a cafe operated by Turhan 
Bey in search of employment. Bey refuses to hire her; he 
was not in a receptive mood, for Alan Curtis, leader of a 
gang of hoodlums, had just threatened to wreck his cafe 
unless he paid for "protection." Curtis returns with his gang 
and starts a fight. The police intervene, and Susanna finds 
herself among those arrested. Bey, amused, bails her out and 
employs her as a singer, subsequently falling in love with 
her. Finding a ring with her brother's name on it in Bey's 
office, Susanna suspects that Bey had something to do with 
his disappearance. She enlists the aid of detective Thomas 
Gomez. Knowing Curtis' hatred for Bey, Gomez goes to 
him for information about Susanna's brother. Curtis, seeing 
an opportunity to break up the romance between Susanna 
and Bey, builds up a case against his rival that convinces 
Susanna that he was responsible for her brother's death. Bey, 
ignorant of Susanna's suspicions, makes plans for his mar- 
riage to her, but she turns down his proposal and accuses him 
of murdering her brother. Susanna leaves him to attend a 
Christmas party given by Curtis. At the party, she comes 
across evidence that convinces her that Curtis himself was 
her missing brother. Without revealing her discovery, she 
returns to Bey's cafe. Curtis, furious at her return, gathers 
his henchmen and storms Bey's cafe for a showdown fight. 
In the midst of the brawl, Curtis breaks into Bey's office to 
shoot him, but Susanna stops him, revealing that she and 
Bey had been married only a few minutes before. The two 
new brothers-in-law declare peace. 

Curt Siodmak and Gerald Geraghty wrote the screen 
play, and George Waggncr produced and directed it. The 
cast includes Andy Devine, Collette Lyons, Samuel S. Hinds, 
Fuzzy Knight and others. Unobjectionable morally 

"Having Wonderful Crime" 
with Pat O'Brien, George Murphy 
and Carole Landis 

(RKO, release date not set; time, 70 min.) 

Despite the hard work by the members of the cast, "Hav- 
ing Wonderful Crime" never rises much above the level of 
moderately entertaining program fare. It is a breezy type 
murder-mystery melodrama in which the comedy is stressed 
more than the murder angle, but the story material is so 
weak and the comedy so forced that little of it makes an 
impression. Not only is the story thin, but it is also confus- 
ing; few will be able to follow its developments. None of 
the characters do anything to arouse sympathy, since most 
of their actions are ridiculous. There is some suspense in 
the closing scenes, but hardly enough to excite any one: — 

Pat O'Brien, an attorney and amateur sleuth, finds him- 
self continuously in trouble with the police because of the 
practical jokes played on him by George Murphy and Carole 
Landis, newlyweds, who were his close friends. All three 
are at a theatre when George Zucco, a magician, fails to 
reappear after doing a disappearing act. O'Brien, lest he 
become involved in the mystery, accompanies the newly- 
weds to a vacation resort. En route, they come across Lenore 
Aubert, the missing magician's assistant, whose car was 
stalled. They offer to give her a lift but become suspicious 
when she insists that they take along her huge trunk; they 
believed it contained the magician's body. Arriving at the 
hotel, Murphy deliberately registers Lenore as O'Brien's 
wife and orders her trunk sent up to his room. The trio open 
the trunk at the first opportunity and find nothing but magic 
equipment in it. Later, however, they discover Zucco's body 
in it. While the three try to figure out how not to become 
involved in the murder, the trunk disappears. O'Brien de- 
termines to solve the mystery. Aided by Carole and Murphy, 
he embarks on an investigation that leads all three into a 
series of difficulties that nearly cost them their lives. After 



numerous narrow escapes and an additional killing, they 
eventually trap the murderer. 

Howard J. Green, Stewart Sterling and Parke Levy wrote 
the screen play, Robert Fellows produced it, and Eddie 
Sutherland directed it. 

"Bring on the Girls" with Veronica Lake, 
Eddie Bracken and Sonny Tufts 

(Paramount, no release date set; time, 92 mm.) 

While not exceptional, this Technicolor musical is fairly 
enjoyable because of the tuneful songs, the dancing, the 
romantic involvements, the comedy, and the lavish settings. 
The story, which is a variation of the boy-meet-girl theme, 
is pretty thin, but it moves along at a steady pace and offers 
a number of laugh-provoking situations. The most comical 
sequence takes place in a nightclub, where Spike Jones and 
his Orchestra play a comedy version of the song "Chloe." 
This sequence, incidentally, is the only one in which Jones' 
orchestra appears, but it is the funniest part of the picture 
and, since it comes toward the finish, it will send the audi- 
ence out in a happy frame of mind: — 

To make sure that people, particularly girls, would like 
him for himself and not for his money, Eddie Bracken, a 
wealthy young man, decides to enlist in. the navy. His legal 
advisors, however, insist that Sonny Tufts, a junior partner, 
enlist with him and act as his guardian. Both arc sent to the 
same training camp. Bracken manages to keep his wealth a 
secret and, the first time he is given liberty, he manages to 
sneak away from Tufts and goes to a nightclub. There he 
meets and falls in love with Veronica Lake, a cigarette girl, 
unaware that she was Tufts' former sweetheart. Veronica, 
a "gold-digger," does not let on that she knew of his wealth. 
Learning of Bracken's new-found love, Tufts mistakenly 
concludes that the girl was Marjorie Reynolds, the club's 
singer. He investigates Marjorie and becomes satisfied that 
she was not the sort of girl to fall in love with Bracken for 
his money. When Bracken's family becomes disturbed over 
news of his engagement, Tufts, still thinking the girl was 
Marjorie, reassures them. He is shocked no end when he 
learns that the girl was Veronica. Tufts warns Bracken 
against her, but the young man, believing him jealous, re- 
fuses to listen. Tufts decides to woo Veronica and win her 
for himself, thus saving Bracken. Meanwhile Marjorie had 
fallen in love with Bracken but kept her feelings to herself. 
Tufts' interference with his romance so confuses Bracken 
that he begins to doubt Veronica's love. He pretends to 
have become stone deaf in order to learn what she really 
thought of him. Veronica sees through the ruse, but Mar- 
jorie unwitingly allows him to overhear her declaration of 
love. After a series of farcical interludes in which Veronica's 
love for Tufts flames anew, it all ends with Veronica in 
Tufts' arms and with Bracken realizing his love for 
Marjorie. 

Karl Tunberg and Darrell Ware wrote the screen play, 
Fred Kohlmar produced it, and Sidney Lanfield directed it. 
The cast includes Grant Mitchell, Peter Whitney, Alan 
Mowbray, Huntz Hall and others. Unobjectionable morally. 

"Betrayal from the East" 
with Lee Tracy and Nancy Kelly 

(RKO, no release date set; time, 82 min.) 

Supposedly based on factual Japanese espionage activities 
in this country prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, this is 
an interest-holding, exciting melodrama, well directed and 
acted. The interest lies in the counter-espionage methods 
employed by Army Intelligence to trap the spies. Since the 
hero becomes a member of the spy ring to aid the U. S. 
Government, one is naturally held in suspense fearing for 
his safety. The picture makes no concession to the squeam- 
ish in its depiction of Jap brutalities. Towards the end, the 
action becomes quite thrilling, culminating in the roundup 
of the spies: — 

When Philip Ahn, his Japanese friend, questions him 
about the Panama Canal, Lee Tracy, an ex-soldier of shady 
character, intimates that he was well acquainted with the 
Zone and that one of his Army pals was stationed there. 
Ahn makes Tracy a sizeable loan and, hinting at a profitable 
job, induces him to come to Los Angeles. There, Tracy is in- 
terviewed in a darkened room by a mysterious Jap who hires 
him to secure military information from his friend in Pana- 
ma. Tracy manages to contact Capt. Addison Richards, of 
Army Intelligence, and lays the enemy's plan before him. 
Richards instructs him to play along with the spies to enable 
his department to break up the ring. Before leaving for 
Panama, Tracy learns that Nancy Kelly, with whom he had 
become friendly on the train to Los Angeles, was an Amer- 



February 17, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



27 



ican agent. In Panama, Tracy aided by Army Intelligence, 
deceives the spies by giving them false information. With 
the desired information in their hands, the spies plot to kill 
Tracy, but Nancy, who was posing as the Danish girl-friend 
of a Nazi spy, learns of the plot and enables Tracy to make 
a safe getaway. The spies, suspecting Nancy's friendship 
with Tracy, torture her to death in an unsuccessful attempt 
to make her talk. In San Francisco, Tracy, still feigning 
cooperation with the spies, boards a Japanese ship to deliver 
more information and discovers that Richard Loo, a Japa- 
nese- American posing as a cabin boy, was directing the 
spies' activities. The two engage in a murderous fight in 
which Tracy is killed just as the police arrive. His heroism, 
however, enables them to crack the espionage organization 
wide open. 

Kenneth Garnet and Aubrey Wisberg wrote the screen 
play, Herman Schlom produced it, and William Berke 
directed it. The cast includes Regis Toomey and others. 

"The Enchanted Cottage" 
with Dorothy McGuire, Robert Young 
and Herbert Marshall 

(RKO, no release date set; time, 92 min.) 

First National made a silent version of this story in 1924 
with Richard Barthelmess and May McAvoy. As was the 
case with that picture, this one, too, is a fine production with 
a particular appeal for the cultured element among picture- 
goers. Others, particularly children, may find it difficult to 
understand and appreciate either the psychological aspect 
of the story, or the visualization of mental impressions. 
While it cannot be considered a picture for the masses, it 
may go over with adult audiences, for the story, having 
been brought up to date, is timely, and the romance is an 
unusually appealing one. It should be said, however, that, 
since the story revolves around a veteran who returns from 
the war badly disfigured, many persons with loved ones in 
the service may find the subject matter too depressing. John 
Cromwell's direction is excellent, as is the acting of both 
the principal and featured players: — 

Ordered overseas on his wedding day, Robert Young, a 
flier, postpones his marriage to Hillary Brooke. He crashes 
on his first flight, and the accident leaves him badly disfig- 
ured. Returning home, he finds that he cannot bear the 
distressing sympathy of both his family and his fiancee. He 
isolates himself in a small cottage owned by Mildred Nat- 
wick, where he had planned to spend his honeymoon be- 
cause of its reputed enchantment for young married couples. 
There he meets Dorothy McGuire, a physically unattractive 
young spinster, who helped Miss Natwick care for the cot- 
tage. Through Dorothy, Young makes the acquaintance of 
Herbert Marshall, a blind pianist, who helps him regain 
confidence in himself. Grateful that Dorothy was not re- 
pelled by his appearance, and realizing that their lots were 
similar, Young asks her to marry him. Dorothy, deeply in 
love with him, consents. Under the spell of their deep love, 
each sees physical changes in the other, and they credit the 
phenomenon to the cottage's enchantment. Marshall, though 
blind, realized that their physical appearances had not 
changed, but he encourages them to enjoy their happiness. 
The transformation is so real to the young couple that they 
welcome a visit from Young's mother. But her tactless pity 
brings them to the realization that they had not changed. 
Marshall, however, convinces them that the illusion would 
never leave them because of their deep love for one another. 

DeWitt Bodeen and Herman J. Manckiewicz wrote the 
expert screen play, and Harriet Parsons produced it. The 
cast includes Spring Byington, Richard Gaines and others. 



"Circumstantial Evidence" 
with Lloyd Nolan and Michael O'Shea 

(20th Century-Fox, March; time, 68 min.) 

This program melodrama should make a fairly good sup- 
porting feature. The story revolves around the efforts of a 
kindly postman to prove the innocence of his best friend, 
who had been convicted of murder on circumstantial evi- 
dence. In spite of the fact that what transpires is not always 
logical, it holds one's interest to a fair degree. Moreover, it 
has considerable human interest. A novel, though incredible, 
twist has the convicted man breaking out of jail unobserved 
only to find himself faced with the task of making his way 
back to his cell lest he lost the opportunity of being granted 
a new trial. The performances are good: — 

Enraged when a surly merchant maltreats his young son 
(Billy Cummings), Michael O'Shea remonstrates with the 
man and demands that he return the boy's hatchet, which 
he had taken away from him. In a scuffle for the hatchet, the 



man is killed when he trips and strikes his head against an 
obstacle. To those witnessing the fight it appeared as though 
O'Shea had struck the man with the hatchet. Protesting his 
innocence, O'Shea becomes panicky and prepares to leave 
town, but Lloyd Nolan, his old friend, compels him to re- 
main and clear himself. At the trial, O'Shea is convicted on 
circumstantial evidence and sentenced to die. Stunned, 
O'Shea denounces his friend for interfering with his get- 
away. Nolan, despite O'Shea's animosity, keeps a watchful 
eye on his young son and tries desperately to obtain a new 
trial. His efforts, however, are to no avail. With but one 
week left before O'Shea goes to the chair, Nolan hits upon 
a scheme to save him. He organizes a boxing contest among 
a group of young boys, including the sons of the trial judge 
and the governor, and arranges for the boys' parents as 
well as the witnesses to attend the event. Under the guise 
of a quarrel, the sons of the judge and the governor re-enact 
the exact circumstances of the fight that had convicted 
O'Shea, with one of the boys falling to the ground. Immedi' 
ately, eye-witnesses accuse one of the boys of striking the 
other with a hammer. The boys reveal the ruse and all pres- 
ent become convinced of how an accident can be mistaken 
for murder. Impressed, the governor decides to grant O'Shea 
a new trial. Meanwhile O'Shea had broken out of prison and 
had come to town for a last visit with his son, but when he 
learns of the new turn in events he finds himself faced 
with the problem of getting back to his cell lest his absence 
be discovered and his chance for a new trial ruined. He 
succeeds in re-entering the prison unobserved and, subse- 
quently, is freed. 

Robert Metzler wrote the screen play, William Girard 
produced it, and John Larkin directed it. The cast includes 
Trudy Marshall, Ruth Ford and others. 

"Keep Your Powder Dry" with Lana Turner, 
Laraine Day and Susan Peters 

(MGM, March; time, 93 min.) 

Undiscriminating audiences may find this service comedy- 
drama fairly entertaining, but those who are even the least 
bit discerning will probably find it quite ordinary and tire- 
some. In its favor is the marquee value of the players, but 
their talents are wasted on a plot that is artificial to the 
point of annoyance. The story, which revolves around the 
intense dislike and rivalry between two young women in 
the Womens Army Corps is made up of familiar ingredients 
and lacks depth. Their eventual reconciliation after a quarrel 
that almost costs them their commissions as officers, and 
their realization that duty to their country rises above per- 
sonal matters, is a rehash of situations that have been done 
many times. In contrast to the constant bickering between 
Lana Turner and Laraine Day, Susan Peters, as their mutual 
friend, is cast as a reserved girl whose quiet heroism plays 
a major part in bringing the other two to their senses. But 
even her role is a synthetic one: — 

Informed that she must prove herself worthy to gain her 
inheritance, Lana Turner, a wealthy playgirl, enlists in the 
WAC, planning to resign after receiving the money. At 
training camp, Laraine Day, daughter of a general, who 
had enlisted to keep the military tradition of her family 
unbroken, is openly contemptuous of Lana, sneering at the 
thought of a social butterfly making good in the WAC. 
Lana, angered, determines to match Laraine's prowess as 
a soldier. Susan Peters, who enlisted when her husband was 
sent overseas, becomes a self-appointed peacemaker between 
the two. After making good in Motor Transport, the three 
girls go on to Officers Candidate School. Lana and Laraine 
forget their animosity and become friends until Laraine 
learns of Lana's original motive for enlisting. Lana, now 
thoroughly patriotic and imbued with a desire to become an 
officer, fails to convince Laraine that her attitude had 
changed. Their enmity flares up anew, and Laraine de- 
termines that Lana shall not become an officer. While 
serving as deputy commander, Laraine goads Lana into dis- 
obeying orders, thus causing her to face dismissal from OCS. 
The commanding officer (Agnes Moorchcad), however, 
understanding Laraine's motive, informs her that she herself 
was considered poor officer material. Both girls plan to re- 
sign. Meanwhile Susan, who had just learned of her hus- 
band's death, puts aside her own grief and tries to reason 
with them. In face of Susan's quiet heroism, the girls become 
ashamed of themselves. They ask the commanding officer 
for permission to remain in the Corps, even if only as en- 
listed women. Miss Moorchead, however, permits them to 
remain eligible for graduation from OCS. 

Mary C. MaCall, Jr., and George Bruce wrote the screen 
play, George Haight produced it, and Edward Buzzcll di- 
rected it. 



28 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



February 17, 1945 



"The effect of clearance upon the booking of pictures by 
subsequent-runs also was noted: 'The primary evil inherent 
in . . . any clearance is not that it suppresses competition for 
patronage but that it establishes a discriminatory sequence 
of exhibition which has no relation to the legitimate needs 
of the distributor or the public. What it does is simply to 
give the theatre enjoying the clearance booking control over 
the theatre against which it is held. The latter thus becomes 
entirely dependent upon the manner in which the former 
books pictures as they may not be made available in the sec- 
ond theatre until after they have been played in the first and 
this is true whether the clearance is one day or thirty days." 

Mr. Myers discloses that, although the brief does not 
contain a suggested form of order to be entered, it does out- 
line the substance of the requested relief, which, in short, 
is as follows : 

1. The distributors should be prohibited from imposing 
"any clearance between theatres not in substantial compe- 
tition with each other." Note that no distinction is made 
between independent theatres, affiliated theatres and large 
independent circuits. 

2. The distributors should be prohibited from granting 
"any clearance between theatres charging substantially the 
same admission prices." Here again the prohibition applies 
to all classes of theatres. 

3. There should be a "prohibition of all clearance in ex- 
cess of that reasonably related to the maintenance of compe- 
tition between two or more competing theatres charging 
different admission prices." 

Mr. Myers then continues: 

" 'The distributor may, as he frequenlty does, deal with the 
refusing to abolish all clearance in many cases where there 
was only trifling competition or where admission prices were 
the same, apparently assumed that this would be 'an unwar- 
ranted interference with the distributor's right to license the 
competing exhibitors on such runs as he may deem necessary 
to exploit his films properly.' The brief then goes on to say 
that the elimination of clearance does not necessarily involve 
a transfer of the run from one exhibitor to the other and, in 
this connection, includes a dissertation on 'open' booking, 
which exhibitors sometimes call 'catch-as-catch-can' booking. 

"The distributor may, as he frequently docs, deal with the 
two theatres upon an open booking basis; that is to say, per- 
mit each to book the films licensed for exhibition to his thea- 
tre without regard to the time at which they are exhibited 
in the other. The mere mechanics of booking films for ex- 
hibition from eight to ten different distributors, all of whom 
serve numerous customers with each positive print, may 
seldom permit the playing of the same film simultaneously 
in the two theatres, but they may be served without dis- 
crimination by supplying prints as the prints and playing 
time in the theatres involved become available. Thus the 
pictures released by a particular distributor may alternately 
be made available first to one theatre and then to the other 
so that at the end of the season, although they have never 
played the same pictures simultaneously, neither theatre has 
been relegated to a fixed inferior position by the distributor 
in question. Thus all that the elimination of clearance in a 
particular situation does is to permit service of prints to the 
theatres involved upon a non-discriminatory basis, if the 
disrtibutor licenses them both. . . 

". . . In a Government of law special indulgences cannot 
indefinitely be granted to a particular group, no matter how 
influential it may be. And regardless of what disposition 
Judge Goddard may make of the motion on March 5>, the 
motion and brief should accomplish three highly desirable 
ends: 

"1. The clear and frank disclosure of the fundamentals 
of the Government's suit should bring Judge Goddard to a 
realization of the seriousness of the proceeding. 

"2. Since notice of the motion was filed on counsel for 
all of the defendants, it will serve to bring the non-consent- 
ing defendants — Columbia, United Artists and Universal — 
back into the proceeding. 

"3. The motion, whether granted or denied, should re- 
sult in setting the case for trial on the merits on a day 
certain." 

It is, of course, usually most difficult to obtain from a court 
temporary relief so extraordinary as the relief sought in this 
case. But whether the temporary relief should be granted or 
not, the Department of Justice has done a remarkable piece 
of work in behalf of free competition in the industry, and the 
independent exhibitor has been given a new hope for ulti- 
mate victory in the pending suit. 



"Crime, Incorporated" with Leo Carrillo, 
Tom Neal and Martha Tilton 

(PRC, April IT; time, 75 min.) 

The followers of gangster pictures should find this pro- 
gram melodrama to their liking. The story, which is based 
on an original by associate producer Martin Mooney and 
which in many ways parallels his own experiences as a crime 
reporter, revolves around the machinations of a crime syndi- 
cate headed by outwardly respectable business men, and 
around the efforts of the police to break up their "rackets." 
It has all the ingredients generally found in pictures of this 
type — suspense, cold-blooded killings, grand jury investiga- 
tions, gang warfare and other similar activities. Although the 
ending is quite obvious, one's interest is held fairly well. 
There is a pleasant but unimportant romantic angle. The 
action takes place during the prohibition era: — 

Defying the crime syndicate's dictum to join up with 
them, Danny Morton, extortionist and leader of a small 
"mob," kidnaps Leo Carrillo, one of the syndicate'6 heads, 
and compels the organized crime ring to pay $100,000 for 
his release. Morton, concerned over the welfare of his 
young sister (Martha Tilton) in the event he met sudden 
death, asks Tom Neal, a crime reporter, to watch over her, 
offering to help him expose the secret leaders of the syndi- 
cate in return for his favor. Neal, who had been waging a 
one-man war against crime, accepts. Through Morton, Neal 
learns that Lionel Atwill, a celebrated criminal lawyer, was 
one of the secret leaders, and, through other information 
furnished by Morton, he writes a book titled, "Crime, Inc." 
Shortly after, the syndicate murders Morton. His killing 
precipitates a crusade against crime, and the -governor ap- 
points a special grand jury to investigate. Neal's book is so 
sensational that he is hailed before the jury to reveal the 
source of his information. True to newspaper ethics, he re- 
fuses to reveal the source, but he joins a secret committee 
organized by the police commissioner (Harry Shannon) to 
break up the syndicate. Through information furnished him 
by Neal, the commissioner becomes aware of corruption 
within his own department and, through the use of dicta- 
phones and camera traps, is enabled to arrest the syndicate's 
leaders when they assemble for one of their "board" meet- 
ings. The organized crime ring smashed, the jury thanks 
Neal for his cooperation and all the members act as wit- 
nesses to his marriage to Martha. 

Ray Shrock wrote the screen play, Leon Fromkess pro- 
duced it, and Lew Landers directed it. The cast includes 
Sheldon Leonard, Grant Mitchell, George Meeker and 
others. 

"Her Lucky Night" with Andrews Sisters, 
Martha O'DriscolI and Noah Beery, Jr. 

(Universal, Feb. 9; time, 63 min.) 

Just a minor program comedy with music. The story is 
rather silly, but it manages to provoke a few laughs in cer- 
tain situations. A good part of the comedy is slapstick, with 
one particularly ridiculous sequence taking place in a night- 
club, where the hero's dress suit keeps coming apart as he 
cavorts about the place. Because of the story's silliness, there 
is no human interest. Its chief attraction is the harmony sing- 
ing of the Andrew Sisters: — 

Despite the scoffing of the Andrew Sisters, her co-workers 
in a night-club, Martha O'DriscolI decides to visit a fortune 
teller to learn of her romantic future. When the fortune teller 
informs her that she will find her true love sitting next to her 
in a motion picture theatre, Martha buys two reserved 
tickets to a local movie and tosses one out of a window in 
the hope that it would be picked up by her future boy-friend. 
Martha becomes so disappointed when George Barbier, a 
grumpy but wealthy realtor, occupies the seat next to her 
that she starts a row with him. Barbier, learning the cause 
of her disappointment and impressed with her spurt, employs 
her to investigate Noah Beery, Jr., his nephew and sole heir; 
Barbier wanted to find out if he was a capable person. Beery, 
a shy, bungling young man, innocently gets himself into 
many predicaments, incurring Barbier's wrath. Martha, how- 
ever, falls in love with him, and with the aid of the Andrew 
Sisters and of the fortune teller she manages to save Beery 
from disinheritance by his uncle. 

Clyde Bruckman wrote the screen play, Warren Wilson 
produced it, and Edward Lilley directed it. The cast includes 
Olin Howlin, Maurice Cass and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



IN TWO SECTIONS— SECTION TWO 

HARRISON'S REPORTS 



Vol. XXVII NEW YORK, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 1945 No. 7 

(Partial Index No. 1 — Pages 2 to 24 Incl.) 



Titles of Pictures Reviewed on Page 

Beyond the Pecos — Universal (59 min.) not reviewed 

Big Bonanza, The — Republic (69 min.) 6 

Big Show-Off, The— Republic (70 min.) 10 

Castle of Crimes— PRC (60 min.) 2 

Chicago Kid, The — Republic (68 min.) 22 

Eadie Was a Lady — Columbia (67 min.) 11 

Forever Yours — Monogram (see "They Shall Have 

Faith") '. 2 

Great Flamarion, The — Republic (78 min.) 10 

Great Stage Coach Robbery, The — Republic 

(56 min.) . . . . not reviewed 

Grissley's Millions — Republic (72 min.) 6 

Gun Smoke — Monogram (59 min.) not reviewed 

Hangover Square — 20th CenturyFox (77 min.) 10 

Here Come the Co-Eds — Universal (87 min.) 19 

His Brother's Ghost — PRC (56 min.) not reviewed 

I Love a Mystery — Columbia (69 min.) 18 

It's in the Bag — United Artists (87 min.) 23 

Jade Mask, The — Monogram (66 min.) 14 

Kid Sister, The— PRC (55 min.) 23 

Leave it to Blondie — Columbia (73 min.) 22 

Let's Go Steady — Columbia (60 min.) 6 

Mr. Emmanuel — United Artists (92 min.) 7 

Objective Burma — Warner Bros. (142 min.) 14 

Rogues Gallery— PRC (58 min.) 3 

Roughly Speaking — Warner Bros. (128 min.) 18 

Sage Brush Heroes — Columbia (54 m.) not reviewed 

Sergeant Mike — Columbia (60 min.) 22 

Shadows of Death — PRC (56 min.) not reviewed 

She Get's Her Man — Universal (74 min.) 7 

Sing Me a Song of Texas — Columbia (66 m.) .not reviewed 

Song to Remember, A — Columbia (113 min.) 11 

They Shall Have Faith — Monogram (83 min.) 2 

This Man's Navy— MGM ( 100 min.) 3 

Thoroughbreds — Republic (55 min.) 14 

Thunderhead — Son of Flicka — 20th Century-Fox 

(78 min.) 19 

Tonight and Every Night — Columbia (92 min.) 15 

Topeka Terror, The — Republic (55 min.) . . . .not reviewed 
Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A — 20th Century-Fox 

(128 min.) 15 

Under Western Skies — Universal (57 min.) 2 

What a Blonde— RKO (71 min.) 18 



RELEASE SCHEDULE FOR FEATURES 
Columbia Features 

(729 Seventh Ave., Tiew Tor\ 19, H. Y.) 
6032 She's a Sweetheart — Frazee-Parks Dec. 7 

6038 Dancing in Manhattan — Donnell-Brady. . . .Dec. 14 

6203 Saddle Leather Law — Starrett (55 m.) Dec. 21 

6003 Together Again — Boyer-Dunne Dec. 22 

6025 Tahiti Nights — Falkenburg-O'Brien Dec. 28 

6039 Let's Go Steady — Parrish-Moran Jan. 4 

.6041 Youth on Trial— Collins-Reed Jan. 11 

6014 Eadie Was a Lady— Miller-Besser Jan. 18 

6024 I Love a Mystery — Bannon-Foch Jan. 25 

6204 Sage Brush Heroes — Starrett (54 m.) Feb. 1 

6221 Sing Me a Song of Texas — Lane (66 m.) . . . .Feb. 8 

Tonight and Every Night — Hayworth- 
Bowman Feb. 22 



Leave it to Blondie — Lake-Singleton Feb. 22 

Crime Doctor's Courage — Baxter-Crane Feb. 27 

A Song to Remember — Muni-Oberon Mar. 1 

Rough Ridin' Justice — Starrett Mar. 5 

A Guy, A Gal and a Pal — Hunter-Merrick . .Mar. 8 
Rough, Tough and Ready — McLaglen- 

Morris Mar. 22 



Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Features 

( 1 540 Broadway, Hew Tot\ 19, >J. Y.) 
Block 9 

501 The Seventh Cross — Tracy-Gurie September 

502 Barbary Coast Gent — Beery September 

503 Waterloo Bridge — Taylor-Leigh (reissue) . .September 

504 Maisie Goes to Reno — Sothern-Hodiak September 

505 Marriage is a Private Affair — Turner- 

Craig October 

506 Kismet — Dietrich-Colman October 

507 Mrs. Parkington — Pidgeon-Garson November 

508 Naughty Marietta — MacDonald-Eddy 

(reissue) November 

510 An American Romance — Donlevy November 

509 Lost in a Harem — Abbott 6? Costello December 

Block 10 

513 The Thin Man Goes Home — Powell-Loy January 

514 Main Street After Dark — Arnold January 

515 Music for Millions — O'Brien-Allyson. .February 

516 Blonde Fever — Astor-Dorn February 

517 This Man's Navy — Beery-Drake February 

518 Between Two Women — Johnson-Barrymore. . .March 

519 Nothing But Trouble — Laurel S* Hardy March 

520 Keep Your Powder Dry — Peters-Turner-Day . .March 

Specials 

500 Dragon Seed — Hepburn-Huston August 

511 Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo — Tracy- Johnson . . January 

512 Meet Me in St. Louis — Garland-O'Brien January 

National Velvet — Rooney-Taylor Not set 



Monogram Features 

(630 Hinth Ave., 7<[ew Tor\ 19, J^. Y.) 

461 Song of the Range — Wakely (57 m.) Dec. 1 

421 Crazy Knights — Gilbert-Howard Dec. 8 

416 Shadow of Suspicion — Weaver-Cookson Dec. 15 

403 Alaska — Taylor-Lindsay Dec. 22 

409 Bowery Champs — East Side Kids Dec. 29 

455 Navajo Trail — J. M. Brown Jan. 5 

414 Army Wives — Knox-Rambeau Jan. 12 

420 Adventures of Kitty O'Day — Parker-Cookson. Jan. 19 

417 The Jade Mask — Sidney Toler .Jan. 26 

401 Forever Yours — Storm-Brown (Formerly 

"They Shall Have Faith") Jan. 26 

429 The Cisco Kid Returns — Renaldo Feb. 9 

454 Gun Smoke— J. M. Brown (59 m.) Feb. 16 

There Goes Kelly — Moran-McKay Feb. 16 

Dillinger — Tierney-Lowe Feb. 23 

Fashion Model — Lowery- Weaver Mar. 2 

G. I. Honeymoon — Storm-Cookson (reset) . . .Mar. 9 



February 17, 1945 HARRISON'S REPORTS Partial Index 



Page B 



Paramount Features 

(HOI Broadway. Hew York 18, H- T.) 
(No national release dates) 
Block 3 

4411 Here Come the Waves — Crosby -Hutton. . . . 

4412 Dangerous Passage — Lowery-Brooks 

4413 For Whom the Bell Tolls — Cooper-Bergman 

4414 Practically Yours — Colbert-MacMurray . . . . 

4415 Double Exposure — Morris-Kelly 

Block 4 

4416 Bring on the Girls — Tufts-Bracken-Lake... 

4417 The Unseen — McCrca-Russell 

4418 Salty O'Rourkc— Ladd-Russell 

4419 High Powered — Lowery-Brooks 

Special 

4432 Sign of the Cross — Reissue 



PRC Pictures, Inc. Features 

(625 Madison Ave.. Hew Tor\ 22, H- T.) 

512 I Accuse My Parents — Hughes-Lowell Nov. 4 

552 Dead or Alive — Texas Rangers (56 m.) Nov. 9 

506 Bluebeard — Carradine-Parker Nov. 11 

511 The Great Mike — Erwin-Henry Nov. 15 

514 Rogues' Gallery — Jenks-Raymond Dec. 6 

556 Oath of Vengeance — Buster Crabbe (57 m.). .Dec. 9 
501 The Town Went Wild — Lydon-Bartholomew. Dec. 15 

513 Castle of Crimes — English-made Dec. 22 

553 The Whispering Skull— Texas Rangers (56m). Dec. 29 

557 His Brother's Ghost— Buster Crabbe (56 m.) . .Feb. 3 
521 The Kid Sister— Pryor-Clark Feb. 6 

554 Marked for Murder — Texas Rangers ( 58 m.) .. Feb. 8 

523 The Spell of Amy Nugent— English cast Feb. 10 

516 Fog Island — Atwill-Zucco (reset) Feb. 15 

515 Hollywood 6*" Vine — Ellison-McKay Mar. 1 

507 The Man Who Walked Alone— O'Brien-Aldndge 

(reset) Mar. 15 

Shadows of Death — Crabbe (56 m.) Mar. 24 

Strange Illusion — Lydon-William (re.) Mar. 31 

Crime, Inc.— Tilton-Neal (reset) Apr. 15 



Republic Features 

(1790 Broadway. Hew Tor\ 19, H- T.) 

1943-44 

3308 Red River Valley — Autry (reissue) Dec. 1 

(End of season) 
Beginning of 1944-45 Season 

3311 Tucson Raiders— Elliott-Hayes (55 m.) May 14 

3312 Marshal of Reno— Elliott-Blake (56 m.) July 2 

461 Silver City Kid — Lane-Stewart (55 m.) July 20 

451 Bordertown Trail — Burnette-Carson (56m). Aug. 11 

401 Sing, Neighbor, Sing — Taylor-Terry Aug. 12 

3313 San Antonio Kid — Elliott-Stirling (56 m.). .Aug. 16 

462 Stagecoach to Monterey — Lane-Stewart 

(55 m.) Sept. 15 

3314 Cheyenne Wildcat— Elliott-Blake (56 m.)..Sept. 30 

452 Code of the Prairie — Burnette-Carson (56m). Oct. 6 

403 My Buddy— Barry-Terry Oct. 12 

463 Sheriff of Sundown — Lane-Stirling (56 m.).Nov. 7 

402 End of the Road — Norris- Abbott Nov. 10 

3315 Vigilantes of Dodge City— Elliott (55 m.) . .Nov. 15 

404 Faces in the Fog — Withers-Kelly Nov. 30 

405 Brazil — Guizar-Bruce Nov. 30 

453 Firebrands of Arizona — Burnette-Carson 

(56 m.) Dec. 1 

408 Thoroughbreds — Neal-Mara Dec. 23 

406 Lake Placid Serenade — Ralston Dec. 23 

407 The Big Bonanza — Arlcn-Livingston Dec. 30 

3316 Sheriff of Las Vegas— Elliott-Blake (55 m.).Dec. 31 

409 Grissly's Million's— Kelly-Grey Jan. 16 

410 The Big Show-Off— Lake-Dale Jan. 22 

464 The Topeka Terror — Lane-Stirling (55 m.). .Jan. 26 

3317 Great Stage Coach Robbery— Elliott (56 m.) .Feb. 15 

411 A Song for Miss Julie — Dolin-Markova Feb. 19 



RKO Features 

(1270 Sixth Ave.. Hew York 20, H- T.) 
(No National Release Dates) 
Block 2 

506 Girl Rush — Carney-Brown , 

507 Falcon in Hollywood — Conway-Borg 

508 Murder, My Sweet — Powell-Shirley (formerly 

"Farewell, My Lovely") 

509 Nevada — Mitch um -Jeffreys 

510 Experiment Perilous — Lamar-Brent 

Block 3 

511 What a Blonde— Errol-Borg 

512 Betrayal from the East — Tracy-Kelly 

513 Pan Americana — Terry- Arden 

514 Having a Wonderful Crime — O'Brien-Landis. 

515 The Enchanted Cottage — Young-McGuire . . . 

Specials 

551 The Princess and the Pirate — Bob Hope 

581 Casanova Brown — Cooper-Wright 

582 Woman in the Window — Bennett-Robinson. 

583 Belle of the Yukon — Scott-Lee 

584 It's a Pleasure — Henie-O'Shea 

591 The Three Caballeros— Disney 



Twentieth Century-Fox Features 

(444 W. 56th St.. Hew Tor\ 19. H- T.) 



Block 5 

512 Winged Victory — McCallister-O'Brien .... December 

513 Sunday Dinner for a Soldier — Baxter- 

Hodiak December 

(Note: Beginning with January, the practice of desig- 
nating releases by blocks has been discontinued.) 

514 Keys of the Kingdom — Peck-Mitchell January 

511 The Way Ahead — David Niven January 

515 The Fighting Lady — Documentary January 

516 Hangover Square — Cregar-Darnell February 

517 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn — McGuire-Dunn . February 

518 Thunderhead — Son of Flicka — McDowall March 

519 Circumstantial Evidence — Nolan-O'Shea March 



United Artists Features 

(729 Seventh Ave.. Hew Tor\ 19, H- T.) 

Since You Went Away — All star cast Special 

Dark Waters — Oberon-Tone Nov. 10 

3 Is a Family — Ruggles-Broderick Nov. 23 

Guest in the House — Baxter-Bellamy Dec. 8 

Tomorrow, the World — March-Field Dec. 29 

I'll Be Seeing You — Rogers-Cotten-Temple Jan. 5 

Mr. Emmanuel — English-made Jan. 19 

It's in the Bag — Fred Allen Not set 



Universal Features 

(1270 Sixth Ave., Hew York 20, H- T.) 
9037 My Gal Loves Music— Crosby-McDonald . . .Dec. 15 
9082 The Old Texas Trail— Cameron-Dew (59m) .Dec. 15 



9023 Destiny — Jean-Curtis Dec. 22 

9071 Can't Help Sineing — Durbin-Paige Dec. 29 

9035 Night Club Girl — Austin-Norris Jan. 5 

9020 She Gets Her Man — Davis-Errol Jan. 12 

9039 Under Western Skies— O'Dnscoll-Beery, Jr.. Jan. 19 

9010 The Suspect — Laughton-Raines Jan. 26 

9002 Here Come the Co-Eds — Abbott-Costello Feb. 2 

Her Lucky Night — Andrews Sisters Feb. 9 

9013 House of Frankenstein — Karloff-Chaney Feb. 16 

9036 The Mummy's Curse — Lon Chaney Feb. 16 

9083 Beyond the Pecos — Rod Cameron (59 m.) . . .Feb. 23 

Frisco Sal — Bey-Foster-Curtis Feb. 23 

Sudan — Montez -Hall-Bey Mar. 2 

See My Lawyer — Olsen ii Johnson Mar. 9 

The House of Fear — Rathbone-Bruce Mar. 16 

I'll Remember April — Jean-Grant Mar. 23 

Swing Out Sister — Cameron-Burke Mar. 30 

Honeymoon Ahead — Jones-McDonald Apr. 13 

Salome Where She Danced — DeCarlo-Bruce. Apr. 20 

I'll Tell the World— Tracy- Joyce Apr. 27 

The Naughty Nineties — Abbott & Costello. .May 4 

Blonde Ransom — Grey-Cook May 11 

Penthouse Rhythm — Collier-Norris May 18 

That's the Spirit — Oakie-Ryan May 25 



Page C 



HARRISON'S REPORTS Partial Index .February 17, 1945 



Warner Bros. Features 

(321 W. 44th St., Hew Tor\ 18, H- T.) 

406 The Very Thought of You — Morgan-Parker. Nov. 11 

407 The Doughgirls — Sheridan-Carson Nov. 25 

409 Hollywood Canteen — All star cast Dec. 30 

410 To Have and Have Not— Bogart-Bacall Jan. 20 

411 Objective Burma — Errol Flynn Feb. 17 

412 Roughly Speaking — Russell-Carson Mar. 3 

413 Hotel Berlin — Emerson-Dantine Mar. 17 



SHORT SUBJECT RELEASE SCHEDULE 
Columbia — One Reel 

6654 Community Sings No. 4 (9 m.) Dec. 1 

6953 Rootin Tootin' Band— Film Vodvil (11 m.) .Dec. 8 
5657 Christmas Carols — Com. Sings (reissue) 

(10J/2 m.) Dec. 8 

6804 Striking Champions — Sports (10 m.) Dec. 22 

6855 Screen Snapshots No. 5 (10 m.) Dec. 28 

6655 Community Sings No. 5 (9 m.) Jan. 1 

6501 Dog, Cat & Canary— Col. Rhap. (6 m.) Jan. 5 

6856 Screen Snapshots No. 6 (9 m.) Jan. 26 

6805 Kings of the Fairway — Sports (10 m.) Feb. 2 

6954 Korn Kobblers— Film Vodvil (11 m.) Feb. 2 

6656 Community Sings No. 6 (10 m.) Feb. 9 

6602 Kickapoo Juice — Li'l Abner (7 m.) (re.) Feb. 23 

6857 Screen Snapshots No. 7 (9 m.) Feb. 25 

6806 Rough and Tumble — Sports Mar. 2 

6752 The Egg Yegg— Fox Crow (7J/ 2 m.) (re.) .Mar. 2 

6502 Rippling Rhapsody — Col. Rhap. (reset) Mar. 8 

6657 Community Sings No. 7 Mar. 15 

6703 Goofy News Views — Phantasy Mar. 23 

6858 Screen Snapshots No. 8 Mar. 29 

6753 Kukunuts — Fox & Crow Mar. 30 

6503 Fiesta Time — Color Rhapsody Apr. 4 

Columbia — Two Reels 

6127 The Vanishing Dagger — Black Arrow No. 8 

(15 m.) Dec. 8 

6128 Escape from Death — Black Arrow No. 9 

6429 Heather and Yon — Clyde (17 m.) Dec. 8 

(15 m.) Dec. 15 

6129 The Gold Cache— Black Arrow No. 10 

(15 m.) Dec. 22 

6130 Curse of the Killer— Black Arrow No. 11 

(15 m.) Dec. 29 

6422 She Snoops to Conquer — V. Vague Dec. 29 

6131 Test by Torture— Black Arrow No. 12 

(15 m.) Jan. 5 

6410 Woo, Woo!— Hugh Herbert (16 m.) Jan. 5 

6132 Sign of Evil— Black Arrow No. 13 (15 m.) . .Jan. 12 

6133 An Indian's Revenge — Black Arrow No. 14 

(15 m.) Jan. 19 

6403 Three Pests in a Mess — Stooges (15 m.) . . . .Jan. 19 

6134 The Black Arrow Triumphs — Black Arrow No. 15 

(15 m.) Jan. 26 

6430 Snooper Service — Brendel ( 14J/2 m.) Feb. 2 

6431 Off Again, On Again — Howard (16 m.) Feb. 16 

6432 Two Local Yokels— Clyde Mar. 2 

6404 Booby Dupes — Stooges (17 m.) Mar. 17 

6433 Pistol Packin' Nitwits — Brendel Apr. 4 



Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer — One Reel 
1943-44 

K-574 A Lady Fights Back— Pass. Par. (10 m.) . . .Nov. 11 

S-558 Safety Sleuth— Pete Smith (9 m.) Nov. 25 

T-522 Wandering Here and There — Travel. (9m) .Dec. 9 

W-541 Mouse Trouble — Cartoon (7 m.) Dec. 23 

W-542 Barney Bear's Polar Pet — Cartoon (7m.). .Dec. 30 

W-543 Screwy Truant — Cartoon (7 m.) Jan. 13 

W-544 The Unwelcome Guest — Cartoon Feb. 17 

(More to come) 

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer — Two Reels 

1943-44 

A-501 Dark Shadows — Special (22 m.) Dec. 16 

(More to come) 



Paramount — One Reel 

U4-2 Two Gun Rusty — Puppetoon (7 J/2 m.)....Dec. 1 

E4-1 She-Sick Sailors— Popeye (7 m.) Dec. 8 

R4-3 Long Shots and Favorites — Sport. (9 m.)...Dec. 8 
P4-2 Gabriel Churchkitten — Noveltoon (7 m.)...Dec. 15 

J4-2 Popular Science No. 2 (10 m.) Dec. 22 

D4-2 Birthday Party — Little Lulu (9 m.) Dec. 29 

U4-3 Hot Lip Jasper — Puppetoon (7 m.) Jan. 5 

L4-2 Unusual Occupations No. 2 (10 m.) Jan. 12 

Y4-2 Who's Who in Animal Land — Speaking of 

Animals (9 m.) Jan. 19 

R4-4 Out Fishin' — Sportlight (9 m.) Jan. 26 

E4-2 Pop-Pie-Ala-Mode— Popeye (7 m.) Jan. 26 

P4-3 When G. I. Johnny Comes Home — 

Noveltoon (8m.) Feb. 2 

J4-3 Popular Science No. 3 Feb. 16 

R4-5 Blue Winners — Sportlight (re.) Feb. 23 

D4-3 Beau Ties — Little Lulu Mar. 2 

P4-4 Scrappily Married — Noveltoon Mar. 3 

L4-3 Unusual Occupations No. 3 (10 m.) Mar. 9 

Y4-3 In the Public Eye— Speak, of Animals (8m) .Mar. 16 

E4-3 Tops in the Big Top — Popeye Mar. 16 

U4-4 Jasper Tell — Puppetoon (8 m.) Mar. 23 

R4-6 Game Bag — Sportlight (9 m.) Mar. 30 

Paramount — Two Reels 
FF4-1 Bonnie Lassie — Musical Parade (19 m.)...Oct. 6 

FF4-2 Star Bright— Musical Parade (20 m.) Dec. 15 

FF4-3 Bombalera— Musical Parade (20 m.) Feb. 9 

Republic — Two Reels 

481 Zorro's Black Whip — Lewis-Stirling 

(12 episodes) Dec. 16 

482 Manhunt of Mystery Island — Bailey-Stirling 

(15 episodes) Mar. 8 

RKO— One Reel 

54302 School for Dogs — Sportscope (8 m.) Oct. 6 

54202 Flicker Flashbacks No. 2 (7J/ 2 m.) Oct. 27 

54303 Saddle Starlets — Sportscope (8 m.) Nov. 3 

54304 Parallel Skiing — Sportscope (8m.) Dec. 1 

54105 Donald's Off Day— Disney (7 m.) Dec. 8 

54203 Flicker Flashbacks No. 3 (9 m.) Dec. 8 

54305 Five Star Bowlers — Sportscope (8 m.) Dec. 29 

54106 Tiger Trouble — Disney (7 m.) Jan. 5 

54204 Flicker Flashbacks No. 4 (9 m.) Jan. 19 

54107 The Clock Watcher — Disney (8 m.) Jan. 26 

RKO — Two Reels 

53202 Swing It— Headliners (16 m.) Oct. 20 

53401 Go Feather Your Nest — Edgar Kennedy 

(17 m.) Oct. 23 

53702 He Forgot to Remember — Leon Errol (17m) .Oct. 27 

53101 West Point— This is America (17 m.) Nov. 17 

53203 Swing Vacation — Headliners (19 m.) Dec. 1 

53102 New Americans — This is America (19J/2m).Dec. 15 

53402 Ali Baba— Edgar Kennedy (18 m.) Jan. 5 

53103 Power Unlimited — This is America (17 m.) .Jan. 19 
53702 Birthday Blues— Leon Errol (17 m.) Feb. 16 

Twentieth Century-Fox — One Reel 

5507 Gandy's Dream Girl — Terrytoon (7 m.) Dec. 8 

5352 Trolling for Strikes — Sports (8 m.) Dec. 15 

5508 Dear Old Switzerland — Terrytoon (7 m.).. .Dec. 22 

5257 Canyons of the Sun — Adventure (8 m.) Jan. 5 

5509 Mighty Mouse & the Pirate — Terry. (6m.). .Jan. 12 
5302 Steppin' Pretty — Sports. (8 m.) Jan. 19 

5510 Port of Missing Mice — Terrytoon Feb. 2 

5353 Nova Scotia — Sports (8 m.) Feb. 9 

5511 Ants in Your Pantry — Terrytoon Feb. 16 

5255 City of Paradox — Adventure (8 m.) Mar. 2 

5512 Raiding the Raiders — Terrytoon Mar. 9 

5256 Alaskan Grandeur — Adventure (8 m.) Mar. 16 

5513 Post War Inventions — Terrytoon Mar. 23 

5514 Fisherman's Luck — Terrytoon Mar. 30 

5902 Good Old Days— Lew Lehr Apr. 6 

5515 Mighty Mouse 6? the Kilkenny Cats — 

Terrytoon Apr. 13 

5258 Land of 10,000 Lakes— Adventure (8 m.). .Apr. 27 

5516 Mother Goose — Nightmare — Terrytoon ....May 4 



February 17, 1945 HARRISON'S REPORTS Partial Index 



Patfe D 



Twentieth Century-Fox — Two Reels 

Vol. 11 No. 3 — Uncle Sam, Mariner — March of 

Time (16m.) Nov. 3 

Vol. 1 1 No. 4 — Inside China Today — March of 

Time (17l/ 2 m.) Dec. 1 

Vol. 1 1 No. 5— The Unknown Battle — March of 

Time (W/ 2 m.) Dec. 29 

Vol. 1 1 No. 6 — Report on Italy — March of 

Time (17 m.) Jan. 26 



NEWSWEEKLY 
NEW YORK 
RELEASE DATES 



9353 

9372 
9235 
9234 
9373 
9374 
9354 
9236 

9693 
9124 
9581 

9582 
9583 

9584 

9125 
9585 

9586 
9126 
9587 

9588 

9589 
9590 
9591 
9592 
9593 



Universal — One Reel 

Mr. Chimp at Coney Island — Var. Views 

(9 m.) (reset) Dec. 11 

One Man Newspaper — Per. Odd. (9m) (re.) . Dec. 18 
Painter and the Pointer — Cartune (7 m.). . .Dec. 18 
Pied Piper of Basin St. — Cartune (7 m.) . . . .Jan. 15 

ABC Pin-up— Per. Odd. (9 m.) Jan. 15 

Pigtail Pilot— Per. Odd. (9 m.) Jan. 22 

White Treasure — Var. Views (9 m.) Jan. 29 

Chew Chew Baby — Cartune (7 m.) Feb. 5 

Universal — Two Reels 

Tl\e Boomerang — River Boat No. 13 (17 m.).Jan. 10 

Jive Busters — Musical (15 m.) Jan. 17 

Invitation to Death — Jungle Queen No. 1 

(17 m.) Jan. 23 

Jungle Sacrifice — Jungle Queen No. 2 (17m) .Jan. 30 
The Flaming Mountain — Jungle Queen No. 3 

(17 m.) Feb. 6 

Wild Cats Stampede — Jungle Queen No. 4 

(17 m.) Feb. 13 

Melody Parade — Musical (15m.) Feb. 14 

The Burning Jungle — Jungle Queen No. 5 

(17 m.) Feb. 20 

Danger Ship — Jungle Queen No. 6 (17 m.J.Feb. 27 

Swing Serenade — Musical (15 m.) Feb. 28 

Trip Wire Murder — Jungle Queen No. 7 

(17 m.) Mar. 6 

The Mortar Bomb — Jungle Queen No. 8 

(17 m.) Mar. 13 

Death Watch — Jungle Queen No. 9 (17 m.) .Mar. 20 
Execution Chamber — Jungle Queen (17 m.) .Mar. 27 
The Trail to Doom — Jungle Queen ( 17 m.) .Apr. 3 
Dragged Under — Jungle Queen (17 m.) . . . .Apr. 10 
The Secret of the Sword — Jungle Queen 

(17 m.) Apr. 17 



Vitaphone — One Reel 

1305 Plenty of Money You— Hit Par. (7 m.) . . .Dec. 9 

1605 Jammin' the Blues — Mel. Mas. (10 m.) Dec. 16 

1501 California Here We Are— Sports (re.) ( 10m) .Dec. 16 

1502 Birds Beasts Were There— Sports (10 m.) .Dec. 30 

1721 Herr Meets Hare — Bugs Bunny (7 m.) Jan. 13 

1503 Glamour in Sports — Sports (10 m.) Jan. 13 

1306 Fella with a Fiddle— Hit. Par. (7 m.) Jan. 20 

1606 Rhythm of the Rhumba — Mel. Mas. (10 m.).Jan. 27 

1701 Draftee Daffy — Looney Tune (7 m.) Jan. 27 

1504 Bikes and Skis— Sports (10 m.) Feb. 10 

1722 Unruly Hare— Bugs Bunny (re.) (7 m.) Feb. 10 

1307 When I Yoo Hoo— Hit Parade (7m.) Feb. 24 

1702 Trap Happy Porky — Looney Tune (7 m.) . . .Feb. 24 

1505 Cuba Calling— Sports (10 m.) Mar. 10 

1404 Overseas Roundup — Varieties (10 m.) Mar. 17 

1308 I Only Have Eyes for You— Hit Par. (7m.) .Mar. 17 

1607 Musical Mexico — Merrie Melody (7m.)... .Mar. 24 

1703 Life with Feathers — Mer. Mel. (7 m.) Mar. 24 

Vitaphone — Two Reels 

1104 I Wont Play— Featurette (20 m.) Nov. 11 

1105 Nautical but Nice — Featurette (20 m.) Dec. 2 

1101 I Am An American — Featurette (20 m.) Dec. 23 

1002 Beachhead to Berlin — Special (20 m.) Jan. 6 

1106 Congo — Featurette (20 m.) (reset) Feb. 17 

1003 Pledge to Bataan— Special (20 m.) (re.) Feb. 3 

1107 Navy Nurse — Featurette (20 m.) Mar. 3 

1004 Coney Island Honeymoon — Special (20 m.) .Mar. 31 



Pathe News 

55151 Sat. (O) . . .Feb. 17 
55252 Wed. (E). .Feb. 21 
55153 Sat. (O) . . .Feb. 24 
55254 Wed. (E) 
55155 Sat. (O) 
55256 Wed. (E) 
55157 Sat. (O) 
55258 Wed. (E). .Mar. 14 
55159 Sat. (O) . .Mar. 17 
55260 Wed. (E) 
55161 Sat. (O) 
55262 Wed. (E) 
55163 Sat. (O) 



.Feb. 28 
Mar. 3 
Mar. 7 
Mar. 10 



Mar. 21 
Mar. 24 
Mar. 28 
Mar. 31 



55264 Wed. (E). .Apr. 4 



Paramount 

49 Sunday (O). 

50 Thurs. (E).. 

51 Sunday (O) . 

52 Thurs. (E). . 

53 Sunday (O) . 

54 Thurs. (E) . . 

55 Sunday (O). 

56 Thurs. (E) . . 

57 Sunday (O). 

58 Thurs. (E) . . 

59 Sunday (O) . 

60 Thurs. (E) . . 

61 Sunday (O). 



News 

. .Feb. 18 
. .Feb. 22 
. .Feb. 25 
.Mar. 1 
.Mar. 4 
.Mar. 8 
.Mar. 11 
.Mar. 15 
.Mar. 18 
.Mar. 22 
.Mar. 25 
.Mar. 29 
.Apr. 1 





Fox Movietone 




49 


Tues. (O) . . . 


. .Feb. 


20 


50 


Thurs. (E).. 


, ..Feb. 


22 


51 


Tues. (O).., 


, .Feb. 


27 


52 


Thurs. (E).. 


. .Mar. 


1 


53 


Tues. (O) . . 


. .Mar. 


6 


54 


Thurs. (E) . . 


. .Mar. 


8 


55 


Tues. (O).. 


. .Mar. 


13 


56 


Thurs. (E).. 


. .Mar. 


15 


57 


Tues. (O).. 


. . Mar. 


20 


58 


Thurs. (E) . . 


. .Mar. 


22 


59 


Tues. (O).. 


. .Mar. 


27 


60 


Thurs. (E).. 


. .Mar. 


29 


61 


Tues. (O).. 


. . Apr. 


3 



Metrotone 

247 Tues. (O). 

248 Thurs. (E), 

249 Tues. (O) . 

250 Thurs. (E). 

251 Tues. (O). 

252 Thurs. (E). 

253 Tues. (O). 

254 Thurs. (E). 

255 Tues. (O). 

256 Thurs. (E). 

257 Tues. (O). 

258 Thurs. (E). 

259 Tues. (O) . . 



News 

. .Feb. 20 
. .Feb. 22 
. . Feb. 27 
..Mar. 1 
..Mar. 6 
..Mar. 8 
. .Mar. 13 
. .Mar. 15 
. .Mar. 20 
. .Mar. 22 
. .Mar. 27 
. .Mar. 29 
..Apr. 3 



Universal 

373 Tues. (O) Feb. 20 

374 Thurs. (E). . .Feb. 22 

375 Tues. (O) . . . .Feb. 27 

376 Thurs. (E). . .Mar. 1 

377 Tues. (0)...Mar. 6 

378 Thurs. (E). . .Mar. 8 

379 Tues. (O) . . .Mar. 13 

380 Thurs. (E) . . .Mar. 15 

381 Tues. (O). . .Mar. 20 

382 Thurs. (E). . .Mar. 22 

383 Tues. (O) . . . Mar. 27 

384 Thurs. (E) . . .Mar. 29 

385 Tues. (0)...Apr. 3 



All American News 

121 Friday Feb. 16 

122 Friday Feb. 23 

123 Friday Mar. 2 

124 Friday Mar. 9 

125 Friday Mar. 16 

126 Friday Mar. 23 

127 Friday Mar. 30 

128 Friday Apr. 6 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 

Harrison's Reports 

Yearly Subscription Rates: 1270 SIXTH AVENUE Published Weekly by 

United States $15.00 Po/wri 1 R1 2 Harrison's Reports, Inc., 

U. S. Insular Possessions. 16.50 ftuom 1014 Publisher 

Canada 16.50 New York 20, N. Y. P. S. HARRISON, Editor 

""f'S' Spain « « A Motion Picture Reviewing Service 

Australia New ' Zealand' Devoted Chiefly to the Interests of the Exhibitors Established July 1, 1919 

India, Europe, Asia .... 17.50 Ug E(Jitoria] Po ij cy . No p ro blem Too Big for Its Editorial Circle 7-4622 

iic a Copy Columns, if It is to Benefit the Exhibitor. 

A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 

Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 1945 No. 8 



HERE AND THERE 

MR. DEWEY ANDERSON, counsel for the U.S. Senate 
Small Business Committee, is reported to have announced 
that the Committee will, in the near future, institute an in' 
vestigation of the motion picture industry to determine 
whether independents in all branches of the industry are 
heinp forced out of business by monopolies. 

If this Committee's sole purpose is to learn whether or 
not the small independents are being affected by monopolistic 
practices, then all it has to do is to send an inquiry to the 
Department of Justice, which has spent many years carefully 
gathering information and facts relative to these conditions. 
The Department of Justice can give to the Committee all 
the information on the subject that the Committee could 
gather in months of investigation. 

The motion picture industry has its hands full trying to 
conduct its business despite war-time restrictions, and, at 
the same time, it is carrying a major portion of the work 
and responsibility in connection with the different drives in 
support of the nation's war effort. It should not, therefore, 
be burdened and handicapped further by investigations 
that can readily be dispensed with. 

The Senate Small Business Committee, on the other 
hand, has not the facilities, the manpower, or the funds for 
a thorough investigation. Besides, the investigation is entirely 
unnecessary, for all the information that the Committee 
needs is in the hands of the Department of Justice. So, why* 
waste time investigating? 

The Committee could spend its time to better advantage 
if it would digest the information that the Department of 
Justice could give it. From this information it would soon 
learn about the existence of monopolistic and other despic- 
able practices. The Committee could then render a real ser- 
vice by merely formulating a proposed plan to eliminate 
these practices. 

But let's not waste any more time or money on investiga- 
tions. 

* * * 

THE RULING BY Director of War Mobilisation James 
F. Byrnes calling upon all public places of amusement to 
observe a midnight curfew beginning Monday, February 26, 
should have little effect upon the operations of the majority 
of the country's motion picture theatres. The last show in 
most theatres ends before midnight, and those that are now 
running a little later than midnight should not find it too 
difficult to rearrange their schedules. Certain large metro- 
politan theatres, where the final show keeps them open until 
two or three o'clock in the morning, will be affected by the 
ruling, but they make up a very small part of the nation's 
theatres. 

When one takes into consideration the drastic effect this 
ruling will have on night-clubs, cabarets, dance-halls, road- 
side taverns and bars, motion picture exhibitors can indeed 
consider themselves fortunate. As a matter of fact, it is 
quite possible that the order will serve to boom attendance 
in the small-town and subsequent-run neighborhood theatres. 
In small towns, for example, those who formerly looked to 
a roadhouse tavern or cabaret for an evening of fun may 
find the prospect of a midnight curfew hardly worth the 



trouble and, instead, may prefer to spend those few hours 
at a movie. In large cities, many people attend downtown 
theatres with the idea that, after the show, they will go to 
some other place of amusement for a few drinks and perhaps 
some dancing; they, too, may find the midnight curfew a 
deterrent and, consequently, they may prefer to attend 
their neighborhood theatres. 

While the purpose of the curfew order is primarily to 
save coal consumed in heating and in providing electricity, 
it all adds up to a curtailment of the public's entertainment 
facilities. The order will probably result in a wide-spread 
change in the amusement habits of many people and, since 
motion picture theatres will be affected less than the other 
entertainment facilities, the change may very well be in 
their favor. 



GRATIFIED AS THIS paper was to learn that the Inde- 
pendent Theatre Owners Association of New York had 
taken steps to apprise Stanley Adams, head of the War 
Production Board's Consumers Durable Goods Division, of 
the great injustice that would be done to the subsequent-run 
exhibitors by the ruling limiting prints to a maximum of 
28?, it was even more gratified to learn that National Allied, 
through Abrani F. Myers, its general counsel, had served 
notice on the WPB that it is preparing a comprehensive 
statistical report, compiled by its regional units, which will 
outline in detail the difficulties independent exhibitors will 
be faced with under a curtailment of prints. 

In a statement, Mr. Myers had this to say: 

"Actually, the distributors have been gradually reducing 
the print number over a period of years and this WPB 
limitation does not pose a new problem to us. It does, how- 
ever, point up the older problem and threatens to drive it 
home more sharply. We intend to gather all the facts we . 
need and put them before the WPB rather than simply 
protest on general grounds. We will stand on the facts we 
compile." 

At the meeting between Max Cohen, representing the 
ITOA, and Mr. Adams, the latter assured Mr. Cohen that 
the WPB would see to it that full protection is afforded the 
subsequent-run theatres. Mr. Adams is credited with saying 
that "the WPB will not permit, because of the reduction in 
raw stock quotas, anyone to have an advantage to the dis- 
advantage of anyone else. The distribution of prints must 
be on a fair and equal basis for all. Any indications to the 
contrary will bring immediate action for relief by the WPB." 

Just what steps would be taken to assure the subsequent- 
run exhibitors of equitable treatment was not explained by 
Mr. Adams. Perhaps the statistical record now in prepara- 
tion by National Allied, which covers situations in different 
parts of the country, will help Mr. Adams to formulate a 
definite program that will assure the independent theatres 
of a square deal. 

The first protest to the WPB resulted in an assurance by 
Mr. Adams that the equities of exhibition would be pro- 
tected. It is hoped that the presentation of facts and figures 
will result in an announcement by Mr. Adams of a plan by 
which these equities can be protected. 



30 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



February 24, 1945 



"Pan-Americana" with Phillip Terry 
and Audrey Long 

(RKO, no release date set; time, 85 min.) 

An entertaining combination of romantic comedy and 
music, suitable for either half of a double bill. The story, 
though thin, is fairly amusing, serving well as a means of 
introducing the different musical interludes, which arc the 
picture's chief attraction. The music, which is of the Latin- 
American type, is tuneful, and the production numbers, 
which feature talented South American entertainers, have a 
gay, festive quality. Outstanding among the specialties is a 
sensational "snake" dance by Harold and Lola. Because the 
production lacks star names, it will require considerable 
exploitation to attract patrons, but once in, they should be 
entertained :■ — 

Phillip Terry, an ace cameraman with a reputation as a 
"girl-chaser," Audrey Long, a feature writer, Eve Arden, 
managing editor, and Robert Benchley, foreign editor, all 
members of the editorial staff of a New York pictorial 
magazine, set out on a tour of Latin-American countries to 
pick the prettiest girls of each nation for an elaborate musi- 
cal revue sponsored by the publication. En route, Terry falls 
in love with Audrey, unaware that she was making the trip 
chiefly to meet her fiance, Marc Cramer, an American busi- 
ness man in Rio. Audrey, warned by Eve of Terry's repu- 
tation, leads him on. When Terry learns of her fiance in 
Rio, he becomes all the more determined to win her 
and accompanies her to that city, where he meets Cramer 
and finds him a personable young man. Terry tries many 
tricks to break up the romance between Audrey and Marc, 
but they see through his efforts. Cramer, however, sensing 
that Audrey was being loyal to him in spite of the fact that 
she loved Terry, graciously bows out of the picture. 

Lawrence Kimble wrote the screen play, and John H. 
Auer produced and directed it. The cast includes Ernest 
Trucx, Isabclita, Rosario and Antonio, Miguelito Valdes, 
Louise Burnett, Chinita Marin, Chuy Castillion, Padilla 
Sisters, Chuy Reyes and his Orchestra, Nestor Amaral and 
his Samba Band and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"See My Lawyer" with Olsen and Johnson 

(Universal. Mar. 9; time, 67 min.) 
Suitable for cither half of a double bill, this latest of the 
Olsen and Johnson slapstick comedies has many amusing 
moments. This time the two comedians have wisely refrained 
from dominating the proceedings, with the result that the 
picture is a decided improvement over their last two efforts. 
The story, of course, is a hodge-podge of nonsense, but one 
cannot help laughing at their insane doings. A good part of 
the footage is given over to a series of entertaining specialty 
acts, which include, among others, Yvette, the "torch" 
singer; Carmen Amaya, the flamingo dancer; the Four Teens 
and the King Cole Trio, harmony teams; and the Rogers 
Adagio Trio, comedy ballroom dancers. In addition, there 
are a few lively production numbers and singing by Grace 
McDonald : — 

Learning that Olsen and Johnson were seeking a way 
out of their night-club contract with Franklyn Pangborn, so 
that they could accept a Hollywood contract, Alan Curtis, 
Noah Beery, Jr., and Richard Benedict, members of a strug- 
gling law firm, try to induce them to use their legal services 
to break the agreement. The comedians, however, hit upon a 
better plan. That evening, at the night-club, they start in- 
sulting the patrons, causing a number of them to start 
damage suits against Pangborn, each using the struggling 
law firm to represent them. Pangborn, frightened by the 
law suits, sells the club to Olsen and Johnson for $10,000. 
The comedians arrange with the lawyers to call off the suits 
only to find themselves faced with a new suit filed by Edward 
Brophy, a process server, who claimed $500,000 damages 
for assault and battery. The case starts in a courtroom and 
ends up in the night-club, where the judge, after being 
victimized by Olsen and Johnson, finds them not guilty on 
the basis that any one who attends their nightclub is crazy. 

Edmund L. Hartmann and Stanley Davis wrote the screen 
play, based on the Broadway stage play of the same title. 
Mr. Hartmann produced it and Eddie Cline directed it. The 
cast includes Lee Patrick, Gus Schilling, William B. David- 
son, Stanley Clements, Mary Gordon, The Christianis, Six 
Willys, the Hudson Wonders and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"The Picture of Dorian Gray" with 
George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield 
and Donna Reed 

(MGM, no release date set, time, 110 min.) 

Based upon the novel by Oscar Wilde, this drama about 
a degenerate man who retains his youth while his portrait, 
reflecting his degeneracy, grows old and ugly, is entertain- 
ment strictly for class audiences, but the story unfolds in so 
incoherent a manner that it is doubtful if even class patrons, 
unless they read the novel, will know what it is all about. 
The rank and file will probably find it too difficult to under- 
stand, for the story is disconnected and it is never made 
clear, cither through dialogue or action, just what sort of 
sinful life the man was leading. In one situation, for instance, 
"Dorian Gray," after committing a murder, blackmails a 
friend and compels him to dispose of the body. But just what 
sinister power he had over his friend is left unexplained. 
Hurd Hatfield, as "Dorian Gray," is a bit too statuesque. 
George Sanders, as a cynical nobleman, does well with a 
choice part, but the meaningful dialogue he speaks will prob- 
ably go over the heads of most people. The action is slowed 
down considerably by the excessive talk. The story is set at 
the turn of the century: — 

While having his portrait painted by Lowell Uilmore, 
Hatfield, a wealthy young Londoner, expresses a wish to 
always remain as young as he looked in the portrait. A few 
days later, he meets and falls in love with Angela Lansbury, 
singer in a cheap music hall. Having made up his mind to 
marry the girl, Hatfield asks Gilmore and Sanders, mutual 
friends, to meet her. Sanders cynically casts aspirations on 
the girl's character, and suggests to Hatfield that he put her 
to a test. The young man tricks Angela into willingly agree- 
ing to spend the night with him. Disillusioned, Hatfield 
breaks his engagement to Angela, causing her to commit 
suicide. Sanders, a believer in living only for pleasure, urges 
Hatfield to dismiss the incident from his mind and influences 
him to begin living a life of pleasure. Following Sanders' 
advice, Hatfield soon notices a change in the features of his 
portrait. With the passing years, Hatfield retains his youth- 
ful appearance, but the portrait grows older and uglier with 
each of his sinful acts. In spite of the fact that his evil ways 
were a subject of common gossip, Donna Reed, Gilmorc's 
beautiful niece, falls in love with Hatfield. When Gilmore 
questions him about the rumors of his misdeeds, Hatfield 
murders him lest he interfere with his romance. His efforts 
to keep his sinful life from Donna causes Hatfield to com- 
mit two more murders. Eventually, Peter Lawford, a suitor 
for Donna's hand, uncovers evidence proving that Hatfield 
had murdered her uncle. Panicky, Hatfield puts a knife 
through the ugly monstrosity that was once his portrait. 
The painting resumes its original beauty as Hatfield dies, 
his features changing to that of a horribly disfigured old man. 

Albert Lewin wrote the screen play and directed it. Pandro 
S. Bcrman produced it. The cast includes Richard Fraser, 
Miles Mander and others. 

Not for children. 

"High Powered" with Robert Lowery 
and Phyllis Brooks 

(Paramount, no release date set; time, 60 mm.) 

Just a fair program melodrama, which doesn't mean much 
at the box-office, but serves well enough to round out a 
double bill for undiscriminating audiences. The story is a 
trite version of a theme that has been done to death, unfold- 
ing in just the manner one expects. The action is fairly 
steady, and one or two situations provide thrills, but it is 
just so much old stuff. It has considerable comedy, but much 
of it is too forced to be effective: — 

Robert Lowery, a .high-rigger, develops a fear of high 
places after being in an accident in which a fellow-worker 
died in a fall from a high scaffold. He becomes an itinerant 
grape-picker and, while on his way to a job, accepts a lift 
in a trailer lunch-wagon owned by Phyllis Brooks and Mary 
Treen, who were headed for a gasoline cracking plant under 
construction. Through them, he meets Roger Pryor, an old 
friend and rigger-boss on the job, who persuades him to 
accept employment as a "chipper" on the ground. Pryor, in 
an effort to rid Lowery of his phobia, tries to make him go 
aloft, but Lowery loses his nerve, causing Phyllis to think 
him a coward. She changes her mind about him, however, 
when he risks his life to save the life of another worker from 
an explosion. Both Lowery and Pryor fall in love with 



February 24, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



31 



Phyllis and, eventually, have a misunderstanding over her. 
To add to the ill-feelings, suspicion falls on Lowery when 
it is claimed that his poor workmanship caused a gas leak 
that resulted in the explosion. Pryor discovers that a co- 
worker who hated Lowery was responsible for the leak, but, 
before he could inform Lowery, the cables on a swinging 
boom, lifting a 40-ton steel cap to the top of a high tower, 
snaps. Pryor goes out on the boom to secure the cap, but 
the loose cable knocks him unconscious, pinning him to the 
boom. Lowery, despite his phobia, goes aloft and, in a daring 
rescue, descends to the ground with his unconscious friend. 
His fear of high places conquered, Lowery wins Phyllis and 
renews friendship with Pryor. . 

Milton Raison and Maxwell Shane wrote the screenplay, 
and William Berke directed it. It is a Pine-Thomas produc- 
tion. The cast includes Joe Sawyer, Ralph Sanford, Ed 
Gargan, Vince Barnett and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Strange Illusion" with James Lydon, 
Sally Eilers and Warren William 

(PRC, March 31; time, 86 min.) 

A better-than-average psychological mystery melodrama, 
of program grade. Because of the fact that the lives of de- 
cent people are endangered by a gracious but psychopathic 
criminal, one's interest is held throughout. The work of 
James Lydon, as a murdered criminologist's son, is outstand- 
ing; his determination to unmask the criminal at the risk of 
his own life, the intelligent way in which he goes about un- 
earthing evidence, and his convincing acting, heighten the 
suspense. The others in the cast perform competently:- — 

Dreaming that the death of his father was murder, not 
accidental, Lydon also visions that Sally Eilers, his mother, 
and Jayne Hazard, his younger sister, were in danger of 
being duped by a strange man. Distressed, Lydon cuts short 
his vacation and returns home. He finds that, during his 
absence, his mother had become infatuated with Warren 
William, a charming stranger. The dream preys on Lydon's 
mind to such^n extent that he immediately suspects William 
of an ulterior motive. Checking William's background 
through a local banker, Lydon finds him to be a man of 
means with a good reputation. Lydon, still not satisfied, 
delves into his father's private files and comes across the 
case history of a man fitting William's description, but ac- 
cording to the record the man, a psychopathic criminal, was 
dead. Meanwhile William, who was the man described in 
the file, and who had murdered Lydon's father to get him 
off his trail, becomes disturbed by the young man's persistent 
checking lest it interfere with his plan to marry his mother 
and gain complete revenge. Aided by Charles Arnt, a psy- 
chiatrist and his colleague-in-crime, William, to get Lydon 
out of the way, invites the boy to take a rest cure at Arnt's 
sanitorium. Lydon, suspicious of Arnt, readily accepts the 
invitation so that he could study the man's movements. 
Arranging with Dr. Regis Toomey, an old family friend, to 
keep in touch with him daily, Lydon goes to the sanitorium, 
where he soon becomes convinced that the two men were 
working together. He eventually uncovers evidence prov- 
ing that William had murdered his father and, with the aid 
of Toomey and the police, captures the criminal in time to 
save his sister from his advances and his mother from a 
tragic marriage. 

Adele Commandini wrote the screen play, Leon Fromkess 
produced it, and Edgar G. Ulmer directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Salty O'Rourke" with Alan Ladd, 
Gail Russell and Stanley Clements 

(Paramount, no release date set; time, 97 min.) 

This racetrack melodrama should go over fairly well with 
the Alan Ladd fans, for he is cast in one of his typical 
"tough guy" roles. Somewhat different in story content from 
most pictures of this type, the action is at times thrilling, 
at other times laugh-provoking, and for the most part inter- 
esting. Were it not for the effective way in which Alan Ladd 
portrays the hero, he would be an extremely unsympathetic 
character, for his actions are unpleasant and demoralizing 
almost to the end. Top acting honors, however, go to young 
Stanley Clements, who steals the picture with his expert 
portrayal of a disreputable jockey. Gail Russell, who fur- 
nishes the love interest, is the only sympathetic character: — 

Given thirty days in which to pay Bruce Cabot, a racke- 
teer, a twenty thousand dollar debt, Alan Ladd, a racetrack 



gambler, buys an unmanageable but speedy horse, planning 
to enter him in a $50,000 handicap race. Together with 
William Demarest, his faithful trainer, Ladd contacts Stanley 
Clements, a rough, brassy, unscrupulous twenty-two-year- 
old jockey, who had been barred from racing. Clements, an 
expert rider, handles the horse with ease. Offering Clements 
one-third of the winning purse, Ladd induces him to pose as 
his own seventeen-year-old brother in order to obtain a 
license to ride at the track. Being under-age, Clements finds 
himself compelled to attend a school for jockeys. Gail Rus- 
sell, the teacher, expells him on the first day because of his 
rudeness. Ladd, using all his charm, persuades her to give 
the boy another chance. Learning that the unruly Clements 
had fallen in love with Gail, Ladd, to keep him on his best 
behaviour until after the race, works on Gail's sympathies 
and induces her to show the lad special attention. Clements, 
however, mistakenly believes that she was reciprocating his 
romantic feelings. Meanwhile, Ladd was unaware that Gail 
had become infatuated with him. On the eve of the big race, 
Clements proposes to Gail only to learn that she was in love 
with Ladd. Angered because Ladd had duped him, Clements 
contacts Cabot and arranges to "throw" the race. Demarest, 
learning of the deal, informs Gail. She talks to Clements 
before the race and induces him to change his mind. Cabot, 
angered when Clements rides Ladd's horse to victory, in- 
structs a henchman to kill the boy. Ladd sets out to avenge 
his jockey's murder and, through a clever ruse, manages to 
have Cabot and his henchman kill each other. Indicating a 
willingness to change his ways, Ladd returns to Gail. 

Milton Holmes wrote the screen play, E. D. Leshin pro- 
duced it, and Raoul Walsh directed it. The cast includes 
Spring Byington, Marjorie Woodworth, Rex Williams and 
others. 

Unsuitable for children. 



"God is My Co-Pilot" with Dennis Morgan 
and Raymond Massey 

(Warner Bros., release date not set; time, 90 min.) 

Autobiographical of Colonel Robert Lee Scott's exploits 
in the U. S. Air Force and as a member of General Chen- 
nault's Flying Tigers, this war melodrama, though quite 
thrilling in spots, offers little that is new for this type of 
picture. Consequently, its success will probably depend on 
whether or not your patrons have had their fill of war 
pictures. The best part of the production, to which extensive 
footage has been given, is the aerial photography; the air 
battles are highly exciting. The story has considerable human 
interest, and it pays a deserving tribute to the Flying Tigers, 
but some of the situations are so stagey, and the story's 
treatment is so commonplace that one's interest wanes, ex- 
cept, of course, during the aerial dog fights. Dennis Morgan, 
as Scott, and Raymond Massey, as Chennault, give a good 
account of themselves, as does Alan Hale, as a missionary. 

Beginning with Scott's boyhood days on a Georgia farm, 
the story tells of his burning desire to became an airplane 
pilot. He enlists in the Army and, through a competitive 
examination, secures an appointment to West Point, eventu- 
ally being sent to Randolph Field. Graduating from Ran- 
dolph, Scott marries his hometown sweetheart (Andrea 
King). After a number of years in which he learns to fly all 
types of planes in all kinds of weather, Scott, now thirty- 
four, finds himself stationed in California as an instructor 
when the Japs attack Pearl Harbor. His ambitions to become 
a combat pilot are dashed when he is informed that he was 
too old. Undaunted, he begins a letter-writing campaign to 
his superiors that ends with his assignment to a B- 17 on a 
secret mission to the Far East. In China, he meets Gen. 
Chennault and secures his permission to join the Flying 
Tigers. He learns their methods of combat and soon be- 
comes known as a "one-man air force" as a result of his 
downing thirteen Jap planes. Leading his squadron on a 
daring raid on Hong Kong, Scott is shot down. After a few 
days, Gen. Chennault gives him up for dead just as he is 
brought back to headquarters by a group of Chinese men 
and women who had effected his rescue. Fearful of being 
grounded because of combat fatigue, Scott is delighted when 
Chennault presents him with a new plane and orders him 
to lead his squadron on another mission. 

Peter Milne wrote the screen play, Robert Buckncr pro- 
duced it, and Robert Florey directed it. The cast includes 
Dane Clark, John Ridgely, Donald Woods. Murray Alper, 
Minor Watson, Richard Loo, Philip Ahn and others. 



32 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



February 24, 1945 



"The Body Snatcher" with Boris KarlofT 
and Henry Daniell 

(RKO, no release date set; time, 78 min.) 

Skillfully produced and directed, this horror melodrama 
should more than satisfy those who like their screen enter- 
tainment wierd and spine-chilling; it is far superior to most 
pictures of its type. The macabre tale, based on a short story 
by Robert Louis Stevenson, takes place in Scotland, a cen- 
tury ago, when the medical prolcssion was compelled to 
deal with grave-robbers in order to obtain bodies for dissec- 
tion and study. Boris Karloff, as the blackmailing grave- 
robber, gives one of the best performances of his career, while 
Henry Daniell is not far behind him as head of the medical 
school; their ghoulish, maniacal doings keep one on the 
edge of his seat. Unlike most horror pictures, this one does 
not resort to the fantastic for its chills and shudders; it 
makes sense: — 

Appointed by Daniell as his assistant, Russell Wade, a 
medical student, is aghast when he learns that Boris Karloff, 
a grissly cab driver, stole bodies from fresh graves and sold 
them to Daniell. Wade's urge to leave the school is restrained 
by his desire to help Daniell find a cure for Sharyn Moffctt, 
a crippled child, in whom he had become interested. He 
soon finds himself involved deeply in the grave-robbings. In 
need of a corpse to help Daniell study Sharyn's affliction, 
Wade appeals to Karloff, whom he despised, to get one 
quickly. Karloff obliges him by murdering a young street 
singer and bringing her body to the school. Hopelessly in- 
volved, Wade helps Daniell dissect the body. Bela Lugosi, 
dim-witted caretaker at the school, learns of the murder and 
tries to blackmail Karloff, but the cab driver kills him and 
brings his body to Wade. Resentful of Daniell's superior 
position in society, Karloff took delight in belittling him and 
in threatening him with exposure as an accessory to the 
different murders. Daniell, plagued by the ruthless cab 
driver's taunting, finally murders him and dissects his body. 
Now compelled to do his own grave-robbing, Daniell, while 
returning to the school on a stormy night with a corpse, 
mistakes the howling of the wind for Karloff's taunts. De- 
ranged, and believing that the dead body next to him was 
that of Karloff, he drives his horse and carriage over a cliff. 

Philip MacDonald and Carlos Keith wrote the screen 
play, Val Lewton produced it, and Robert Wise directed it. 
Jack J. Gross was executive producer. The cast includes 
Edith Atwatcr, Rita Corday, Donna Lee and others. 

Too horrifying for children. 



"A Song for Miss Julie" with 
Shirley Ross and Barton Hepburn 

(Republic, Feb. 19; time, 70 min.) 

Poor program entertainment; it is tedious to the extreme. 
What there is to the story is thin, and the various attempts 
at comedy fall flat. Moreover, the story is overburdened with 
dialogue, making the action slow. A few musical numbers, 
entirely irrevelant to the plot, seem to have been "dragged 
in by the ears" for no reason other than to add length. One 
of these numbers features Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin, 
famed ballet dancers, but it is doubtful if their fame will 
mean anything at the box-office. Not much can be said for 
either the direction or the performances. 

The story revolves around the efforts of two enterprising 
playwrights (Roger Clark and Barton Hepburn) to write 
a play about "Britt Conway," a long-deceased Southern 
"playboy," about whom there were many scandalous legends. 
Accompanied by Shirley Ross, Hepburn's wife, a former 
"strip-teaser," the playwrights visit the mansion of Elisabeth 
Risdon, a proud, elderly Southern aristocrat and descendant 
of "Britt," to whom they had paid a large sum of money 
for her ancestor's life story. Panic-stricken lest the world 
learn of her ancestor's indiscretions, thus bringing shame on 
the family name, Miss Risdon instructs Jane Farrar, her 
daughter, to hide "Britt's" diary. Miss Risdon's efforts to 



conceal "Britt's" fabulous adventures irks Shirley and her 
husband, but Clark, who had fallen in love with Jane, finds 
the situation idyllic. Learning that Cheryl Walker, who 
operated a local bistro, was a direct descendant of "Britt," 
her great grandmother having been his second wife, Shirley 
visits the young lady and induces her to come to Miss Ris- 
don's home to help stage the annual "Britt Conway Music 
Festival." Miss Risdon snubs and insults Cheryl, provoking 
her into giving the playwrights the colorful details of 
"Britt's" life. Jane, to make amends for her mother'6 bad 
behaviour, gives Cheryl "Britt's" diary to authenticate her 
statements, but pledges Cheryl to secrecy. With this material 
to work with, the playwrights produce a show that is an 
immediate success on Broadway. It all ends with every one 
learning that Jane gave the diary to Cheryl, and with Jane 
in Clark's arms. 

Rowland Leigh wrote the screen play, William Rowland 
and Carley Harriman produced it, and Mr. Rowland di- 
rected it. The cast includes Peter Garey, the Robertos, 
Vivian Fay and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"The Unseen" with Gail Russell, 
Joel McCrea and Herbert Marshall 

(Paramount, no release date set; time, 79 min.) 

Just a fair murder-mystery melodrama. The producer has 
resorted to the usual tricks such as an eerie atmosphere, low 
key photography, and mysterious movements by the different 
characters to build up one interest and to add suspense to 
the proceedings, but none of these tricks can hide the fact 
that the story is incoherent. Murders are committed but 
the spectator has no idea of the possible motives for the 
crimes, nor are the different characters given motives for 
their strange behavior. Even though matters are cleared up 
at the finish, the spectator is left with a disappointed feeling, 
for he had not been given an opportunity to guess at the 
solution himself: — 

Employed as governess to Richard Lyon and Nona Grif- 
fith, children of Joel McCrea, a widower, Gail Russell 
learns that, two days before her arrival, an old woman had 
been murdered mysteriously near the long-vacant house 
next door. Gail wins Nona's friendship, but Richard, a 
strange child, resented her. Through Herbert Marshall, the 
family physician, Gail learns that McCrea's wife had died 
in a mysterious accident and that he had been suspected of 
her murder. The killing of the old woman had placed him 
under suspicion again. McCrea's wierd movements puzzle 
Gail and, to add to her confusion, she learns that Richard 
was signalling to a mysterious man in the vacant house. 
Matters become frightening for Gail when Phyllis Brooks, 
the former governess whom McCrea had discharged, is 
found murdered shortly after she had gained entrance to 
the house by a ruse. The following evening, Isobel Elsom, 
the widowed owner of the vacant house, visits Gail and 
informs her that the mysterious killer was in her house. 
After a series of frightening happenings in which Miss 
Elsom is stabbed to death in the empty house, McCrea trajps 
Marshall as the murderer. He proves that, years previously, 
Marshall and Miss Elsom had been lovers, and that she had 
killed her husband to get him out of the way. She had 
boarded up the house, leaving his body inside. Having re- 
cently decided to sell the house, she had asked Marshall to 
get rid of the body. Marshall had enlisted the aid of Rich- 
ard so that he could use a secret tunnel leading from Mc- 
Crea's home to the empty house. He had killed the old 
woman because he feared that she had seen him enter the 
house; he had murdered Phyllis because she knew of the 
crime and had tried to blackmail him; and he had stabbed 
Miss Elsom because she had spurned his love. 

Hagar Wilde and Raymond Chandler wrote the screen 
play, John Houseman produced it, and Lewis Allen directed 
it. The cast includes Elisabeth Risdon, Tom Tully, Mikhail 
Rasumny and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 



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A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 
Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, MARCH 3, 1945 No. 9 



A WEAK ANSWER 



Replying to the Government's application for temporary 
relief as it affects clearance, pending the outcome of the 
trial and the entry of a final decree in the New York anti- 
trust suit, the five consenting distributors have served notice 
on the Department of Justice of their intention to defend the 
industry's present system of clearance when argument on the 
proposed changes will be heard before Judge Henry God' 
dard on March 5. In a letter to Robert Wright, U. S. 
Assistant Attorney General, the attorneys for the distributors 
had this to say, in part: 

"Our fundamental issue is with respect to the granting of 
injunction relief in dealing with clearance. We believe that 
on the whole arbitration is the most satisfactory method of 
solving clearance disputes which in their very nature are 
complex and depend upon a number of factors involving 
business judgment. Very often the rights of exhibitors who 
are not parties to the decree are vitally affected. It was an 
appreciation of these circumstances which formed the basis 
for those provisions in the consent decree which made clear- 
ance disputes subject to arbitration in the manner pro- 
vided. . . . 

"Substansively we disagree with the position taken in the 
memorandum regarding arbitration of clearance as provided 
for by Section VIII. We believe it has been successful from 
the point of view of all parties concerned, including the 
public, and that under Section VIII the appeal board has 
been able to, and has, dealt effectively with the various 
clearance problems presented to it and we believe that this 
Section provides adequate relief with respect to clearance 
disputes. As we have said, the problems are complex and 
vary according to local situations. By its very nature, clear- 
ance cannot be measured with precision but must rest on the 
business judgment of exhibitor and distributor The arbi- 
trators by the decree have been permitted to review the 
business judgment of distributors and exhibitors and to de- 
termine whether or not the clearance granted in particular 
cases was too long in point of time or too extensive in area, 
after weighing the several factors set forth in Section VIII. 
We will contend that it is apparent from the decisions that 
the members of the appeal board and the arbitrators have 
been assiduous in performing their duties and have provided 
adequate relief wherever their judgment differed from the 
business judgment of the distributors and exhibitors which 
they reviewed. 

"We believe that the criticisms in the memorandum with 
respect to Section VIII are unjustified and that some of the 
relief requested would work havoc in the industry." 

For as long back as I can remember, every time the dis- 
tributors were faced with reforms they immediately raised the 
cry that reforms would raise havoc with industry opera- 
tions. That same cry was raised after the Government's 
sweeping victory in the Crescent case. Then, the producer 



propagandists, in an effort to arouse exhibitor opposition to 
the Government's efforts in their behalf, claimed that theatre 
divorcement would affect, not only the large affiliated and 
unaffiliated circuits, but also the independent exhibitors who 
had more than one theatre in cities with a population of over 
5000. They claimed that the Department of Justice's aim 
was to compel such exhibitors to dispose of all theatres ex- 
cept one, in order to create competition. 

This claim was effectively dispelled by National Allied, 
which, realizing that some exhibitors might be influenced 
unduly by the propagandists, pointed out that "there is no 
power anywhere to dissolve, or to compel an exhibitor to 
dispose of theatres, except for violation of the Sherman Act. 
It is no violation of that act for an exhibitor to have more 
than one theatre, or even all the theatres, in a town of any 
size. ... If you have not violated the law, nothing can harm 
you." 

Now, in counteracting the Government's proposals for 
the elimination of clearance betwen theatres charging the 
same admission prices, the consenting distributors are again 
raising the cry that such a reform would create havoc within 
the industry. What they mean, of course, without saying it 
in so many words, is that the reform sought would have a 
devastating effect on the elaborate and carefully planned 
clearance system that they have built up over the years for 
the protection of their affiliated theatres, at the expense of 
the independent theatres. 

As to the distributors' contention that the "members of 
the appeal board and the arbitrators have been assiduous in 
the performance of their duties," no one, not even the Gov- 
ernment, has claimed otherwise. But the fact remains that, 
under the present provisions of the Decree, the arbitrators 
have been and still are hamstrung by the maze of restrictions 
limiting their power to arbitrate specific runs. It is these 
restrictions that the distributors seek to retain and which the 
Government seeks to eliminate. 

If, as the distributors claim, the problems of clearance are 
in their very nature complex, and depend upon a number of 
factors involving business judgment, then, certainly the ar- 
bitrators, who are called upon to solve these problems, should 
be given a reasonable amount of latitude, so long as they 
remain within the bounds of a few fundamental principles. 
And that is exactly what the Government is asking for. 

As it has already been said in these columns, it is usually 
most difficult to obtain from a court temporary relief pending 
the outcome of a suit, particularly in this case where the 
relief sought is so extraordinary. The Government, how- 
ever, has built up such a strong case for the elimination of 
clearance that, though the relief may not be granted in an 
interim decree, it may very well be granted in a final decree 
at the conclusion of the suit. 



OUR BIGGEST JOB THIS YEAR! — RED CROSS DRIVE — MARCH 15-21 



34 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



March 3, 1945 



"Hotel Berlin" with Raymond Massey, 
Faye Emerson, Andrea King 
and Helmut Dantine 

(Warner Bros., March 17; time, 98 min.) 

This anti-Nazi melodrama is absorbing without being ex' 
ceptional, yet it should do pretty good business because of 
the timely title and of the fact that the story is based on the 
widely-read novel by Vicki Baum. All the action takes place 
in a large Berlin hotel, one that has felt the devastating 
Allied air assaults, and the main story revolves around the 
efforts of a discharged German soldier, a known anti-Nazi, 
to escape from the building, where he had been trapped by 
the Gestapo. The action is quite exciting at times, holding 
one in considerable suspense. Several by-plots have been 
worked into the main plot in a plausible way. One of these 
revolves around Raymond Massey, as a Nazi General of 
the old school, who, caught in a plot against Hitler's life, is 
compelled by the Gestapo to take his own life after they 
balk his every attempt to escape. Another by-plot revolves 
around the regeneration of Faye Emerson, a woman of loose 
morals, who was permitted to ply her trade in the hotel in 
exchange for information she furnished to the Gestapo. 

In the development of the main story, Helmut Dantine, 
the discharged soldier, whose political leaning had been 
found out, is traced by the Gestapo to the hotel, where a 
few of the employees, members of the underground, had 
kept him hidden. In his efforts to escape from the building, 
Dantine, posing as a waiter, meets Andrea King, an actress, 
with whom Massey was deeply in love. Andrea, learning of 
Masscy's impending doom and discovering Dantine's iden- 
tity, becomes friendly with the anti-Nazi in the hope that he 
will help her out of the country. Through a tip furnished by 
Faye Emerson, George Coulouris, a Gestapo official, learns of 
Dantine's presence in Andrea's suite. When he investigates, 
Dantine beats him to death and, with Andrea's aid, escapes 
from the hotel in the uniform of an officer. Dantine, believ- 
ing in Andrea, seeks a way to get her out of the country, 
but his co-workers warn him against her. When they prove 
to him that she pretended to be anti-Nazi in order to trap the 
underground leaders, Dantine arranges for Andrea to be 
brought to him. He kills her. 

Steve Geray, as the hotel manager, provides a few bright 
comedy moments, but for the most part the action is somber. 
Others taking part in the action include Peter Lorre, as a 
drunken scientist; Alan Hale, as a Gestapo officer, who com- 
plains bitterly when the party compels him to loan it his 
ill-gotten gains; Peter Whitney, as an arrogant young officer 
seeking gayety during his twenty-four hours leave; and 
Henry Daniell, as a party leader who accepts the pending 
German defeat and lays plans in preparation for a future 
war — each plays his part well, giving one an effective idea 
of what must be the Berlin of today. 

Jo Pagano and Alvah Bessie wrote the screen play, Louis 
Edelman produced it, and Peter Godfrey directed it. The 
cast includes Dickie Tyler, Frank Reicher, Helene Thimig, 
Kurt Kreuger and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"The Spell of Amy Nugent" 
with Derek Farr and Vera Lindsay 

(PRC, Feb. 10; time, 60 min.) 

Produced on a modest budget, this British-made drama is 
a minor program entertainment, the sort that will probably 
have little appeal for American audiences. The story, which 
deals with spiritualism, is somewhat confusing. Moreover, the 
acting is decidedly amateurish and, in addition, some of the 
dialogue is too difficult to understand because of the thick 
English accents. Through the different characters, the pic- 
ture expounds some views on spiritualism, but they are the 
sort that will be better understood by intellectuals rather 
than by the rank and file: — 

Derek Farr, only son of Winifred Davis, an upper class 
Englishwoman, falls in love with Diana King, daughter of 



a village grocer. Miss Davis, who cherished the hope that her 
son would one day marry Vera Lindsay, a friend of the 
family since childhood, quarreU with Farr over his proposed 
marriage ttt the village girl. Farr, peeved, determines to marry 
the girl at once, but he learn6 to his horror that the girl had 
suddenly died from heart failure. Her unexpected death 
affects him to such a degree that he turns to spiritualism in 
the hope that he would be brought in contact with her. 
Thereafter, the dominating personality of Frederick Leister, 
a notorious medium, fastens itself upon him. Felix Aylmer, 
Farr's tutor, becomes disturbed lest Leister's domination 
have an adverse effect on the young man's mind. He appeals 
to Hay Petrie, a disinterested theologian, who knew of 
Leister's evil genius, to dissuade Farr from attending more 
of the seances conducted by the medium. Petrie's efforts to 
influence the young man fail. At one of the seances, Leister 
has the form of Farr's dead fiancee materialize. Farr becomes 
so shocked by the sight that it affects his mind. He becomes 
surly and dangerous. But Vera, inspired by her love for 
him, prays for guidance and succeeds in restoring him to 
normalcy and to the realization of his love for her. 

Miles Malleson wrote the screen play, R. Murray-Leslie 
produced it, and John Harlow directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Delightfully Dangerous" with Jane Powell, 
Ralph Bellamy and Constance Moore 

(United Artists, no release date set; time, 93 min.) 

This offers some melodious music played by Morton 
Gould and his Orchestra, and several elaborate production 
numbers, but they are not strong enough to lift the picture 
above the level of moderately entertaining program fare. 
The commonplace story, which is developed in a routine 
manner, and the faulty direction, do not help matters. Jane 
Powell is an appealing adolescent, with an exceptionally fine 
voice, and she can act, too, but material such as this does 
not take full advantage of her talents. The picture has some 
amusing bits here and there, the best being Jane's efforts to 
appear grown-up. Its ninety-three minutes running time is 
unwarranted : — 

Fifteen-year-old Jane Powell, student in a music and art 
school, is delighted when she receives word that her sister, 
Constance Moore, whom she believed to be a musical comedy 
star, would attend the school pageant in which she (Jane) 
had a leading role. After the pageant, Ralph Bellamy, a 
visiting Broadway producer, congratulates Jane on her 
singing and invites her to visit him in New York whenever 
she had the opportunity. Jane decides to visit the big city a 
few days later and, while trying to locate Constance, dis- 
covers that she was really a burlesque queen. Mortified, she 
rushes to Bellamy's apartment. The producer consoles her, 
and arranges for Constance to take her home. On the follow- 
ing day, Constance, busy at a matinee performance, asks 
Bellamy to put Jane on the train returning to school. Jane, 
however, hatches a plot to save Constance from continuing 
her burlesque career. Knowing that Bellamy was seeking a 
star for his forthcoming show, she dresses as a grown-up in 
the hope that he will give her the part, thus enabling her to 
support Constance. Bellamy, amused, takes her to a benefit- 
musical, where Morton Gould, overhearing her humming, 
invites her to sing with his orchestra. She is given a big 
ovation, and Gould tries to sign her for his radio program, 
but, when his sponsor learns that her sister was a burlesque 
queen, he calls off the deal. While preparing to return to 
school, Jane overheas Constance singing a Strauss waltz in 
"jive" tempo. This gives her another idea. She tricks Con- 
stance into making a recording of the song, and then takes 
the record to Bellamy. Impressed, Bellamy gives Constance 
the leading part in his show, featuring both Jane and herself 
in an elaborate "swing" version of the Strauss waltz. 

Walter DeLeon and Arthur Phillips wrote the screen 
play, Charles R. Rogers produced it, and Arthur Lubin di- 
rected it. The cast includes Arthur Treacher, Louise Beavers, 
Ruth Tobey and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



March 3, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



35 



"She's a Sweetheart" with Jane Darwell, 
Jane Frazee and Larry Parks 

(Columbia, December 7; time, 69 min.) 

A rather talkative but pleasant enough program drama, 
produced on a skimpy budget. There's not much to the 
story, which revolves around a motherly woman who oper- 
ates a canteen for servicemen and, through her kind under- 
standing, helps them to adjust their personal problems, par- 
ticularly their romances; but, since it is acted engagingly by 
the players, it keeps one moderately entertained. A few 
songs, pleasingly sung by Jane Frazee, have been inter- 
polated without retarding the action; and the romantic 
angles are charming: — 

Jane Darwell, motherly head of a canteen for servicemen, 
takes a personal interest in Larry Parks, an orphan, because 
of his congenial manner. Miss Darwell becomes concerned 
when Parks falls in love with Jane Frazee, an entertainer at 
the canteen; she felt that Jane's only interest in entertaining 
the servicemen was the personal publicity she would get out 
of it. Expecting to be shipped overseas any day, Parks in- 
forms his buddy, Jimmy Lord, that he planned to marry 
Jane before leaving. The two friends come to blows when 
Lord cautions Parks against Jane and proves that all the 
servicemen in the canteen had an autographed picture of 
her. Unaware that Jane's publicity agent had handed out the 
photographs without her knowledge, Parks, disillusioned, 
ships overseas without saying good-bye to her. Some months 
later, Miss Darwell receives a telegram from the War De- 
partment informing her that Parks was "missing in action." 
Jane learning of the news, is heartbroken. She devotes most 
of her time to the canteen, self-effacingly performing the 
less tasteful chores — scrubbing floors and dish washing. Miss 
Darwell and Lord soon realize that they had misjudged her, 
and decide that she was really in love with Parks. At a sur- 
prise party honoring Miss Darwell for her efforts in keeping 
up the servicemen's morale, Parks makes an unexpected ap- 
pearance; for some unexplained reason, a telegram notify- 
ing Miss Darwell that he had been found safe had never 
been delivered. He refuses to see Jane, but when Miss Dar- 
well and Lord admit to him that they had misjudged her, he 
rushes to embrace her. 

Muriel Roy Bolton wrote the screen play, Ted Richmond 
produced it, and Del Lord directed it. The- cast includes 
Nina Foch, Ross Hunter, Dave Willock and others. 



"There Goes Kelly" 
with Jackie Moran and Wanda McKay 

(Monogram, Feb. 16; time, 61 mm.) 

Combining murder-mystery and comedy, this is just a 
program melodrama of minor importance, suitable for the- 
atres that cater to audiences who are not too exacting in 
their demands. The story is a loosely written affair and, 
since most everything that happens is handled in a comedy 
vein, one cannot take the murder-mystery angle seriously. 
The comedy is amusing on occasion, and slightly tiresome 
at other times. A few songs, sung pleasantly by Wanda 
McKay, have been worked into the plot: — 

Misrepresenting himself as an official of the broadcasting 
station where he worked as a page boy, Jackie Moran ar- 
ranges an audition for Wanda McKay, the station's newly- 
hired receptionist. Sidney Miller, another page boy and 
Moran's pal, tries to stop him, but Moran insists upon going 
through with the audition. Moran discovers that Wanda has 
a good singing voice, but he gets into trouble with Anthony 
Warde the station's manager, for the unauthorised audition. 
A few days later, Jan Wiley, that station's singing star, is 
murdered mysteriously during a rehearsal. Detective Ralph 
Sanford takes charge of the case and he soon establishes that 
most every one who was present in the room had a motive 
for committing the murder, particularly John Gilbreath, a 
cowboy singer, who fled from the room. Moran and Miller 



find the murder gun and learn that it belonged to the cow- 
boy. But he, too, is murdered before Sanford can question 
him. Moran and Miller visit the dead cowboy's apartment 
and discover evidence that Jan had once been involved with 
him in a shooting scrape. Sanford, using the information he 
had gathered with Moran's aid, confronts all the suspects 
in the studio and tricks Edward Emerson, the studio's an- 
nouncer, into confessing the crimes. Sanford proves that 
Emerson had been in love with Jan and that he had been 
victimized by her and the cowboy. Meanwhile Warde had 
signed Wanda as the station's new singing star, and her 
radio debut turns out to be a huge success. 

Edmond Kelso wrote the screen play, William Strobach 
produced it, and Phil Karlstein directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"Youth on Trial" 
with Cora Sue Collins and David Reed 

(Columbia, January 11; time, 60 min.) 

Like most of the juvenile delinquency pictures that have 
thus far been produced, this one, too, resorts to preachment 
to put over its message about the need of parental guidance. 
It is no better or worse than its predecessors and should 
serve its purpose as a supporting feature wherever this type 
of entertainment is acceptable. As usual, the action revolves 
around the sordid doings of a reckless youth and his influ- 
ence upon a good but weak-willed 'teen-aged girl. Daring 
escapes from the police, gambling, selling liquor to minors, 
gun fights, and even the murder of one's own father are de- 
picted in an effort to show how bad the juvenile crime prob- 
lem is, but it is all so grossly exaggerated that it loses its 
dramatic force: — 

Alarmed by the rise in juvenile delinquency, Mary Cur- 
rier, a Juvenile Court judge, arranges for a raid on a 
roadhouse, known to be a "hangout" for reckless youths. 
That night, Miss Currier's 'teen-aged daughter, Cora Sue 
Collins, goes on a secret date with David Reed, a villainous 
high school student, much to the disappointment of Eric 
Sinclair, a model young man, who loved her. The young 
couple settle down for some serious drinking at the road- 
house just as the raiding party arrives. They manage to 
escape unrecognized, but a number of their friends are 
caught. On the following day, when the youngsters appear 
before Miss Currier, one of them reveals that Reed and Cora 
had escaped during the raid. Shocked, Miss Currier never- 
theless issues warrants for both Reed and her daughter. 
Reed attempts to bully the others into falsely testifying that 
he and Cora were not at the roadhouse, but he manages 
only to get Cora and himself ostracized by the entire school. 
Unable to stand this subtle punishment, Reed decides to 
leave town, and Cora agrees to accompany him. Needing 
money, Reed tries to steal some from his father, a wealthy 
gambler. His father catches him in the act and, in the en- 
suing struggle, Reed accidentally shoots and kills him. Later, 
in a tourist cabin, Cora first learns of Reed's murderous deed. 
She manages to notify the police of their whereabouts 
without Reed's knowledge. When the police close in on the 
cabin, Reed shoots at them. Cora runs from the cabin only 
to be shot down by Reed. The police wound the young man, 
and both he and Cora are taken to a hospital. Reed dies, 
but Cora recuperates and is reunited with Eric. The City 
Council, now aware of the need to curb juvenile delinquency, 
appropriate a huge sum of money in order to help Miss 
Currier combat the evil. 

Michel Jacoby wrote the screen play, Ted Richmond pro- 
duced it, and Oscar Boetticher, Jr., directed it. The cast 
includes Georgia Bayes, Robert Williams, Joseph Crehan, 
John Calvert and others. 

Too sordid for children. 



Through a typographical error, the running time of "The 
Body Snatcher," reviewed last wee\, was given as 8 minutes. 
The correct time is 78 minutes. 



36 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



March 3, 1945 



"It's a Pleasure" 
with Sonja Henie and Michael O'Shea 

(RKO, no release date set; time. 90 min.) 

Fourth of the International pictures released through 
RKO, "It's a Pleasure" stacks up as fairly good entertain- 
ment, despite a story and treatment that is routine. The most 
entertaining feature of the picture is, of course, Sonja 
Henie's dazzling antics on ice; the grace and ease with which 
she so skillfully executes her skating routines are fascinating 
to watch. Not the least of the picture's other assets arc the 
elaborate, tastefully designed settings and the very good 
Technicolor photography. As said, the story is routine, 
nevertheless, it has enough romance, comedy, music and 
drama to put it over with most audiences. The performances 
are engaging: — 

When Michael O'Shea, an excitable but likeable hockey 
player is barred from professional hockey for striking a 
referee, Sonja Henie, member of a skating troupe entertain- 
ing between periods, secures a job for him with a small ice 
show operated by Bill Johnson. Marie McDonald, Johnson's 
attractive but idle wife, deliberately flirts with O'Shea and 
makes some headway with him, but the hockey player falls in 
love with Sonja and marries her. Under Sonja's careful 
guidance, O'Shea gives up drinking, his major trouble, and 
soon becomes the show's star performer. Arthur Loft, a big- 
time promoter scouting for new talent, plans to sign O'Shea 
to a contract and arranges to watch him skate at one of the 
performances. But Marie, in order to keep O'Shea with her 
husband's show, deliberately gets him intoxicated, causing 
him to miss the performance. Sonja substitutes for him. 
Impressed with her brilliant skating, Loft offers her a con- 
tract. She declines when he refuses to include O'Shea. When 
O'Shea learns of this, he decides to leave Sonja lest he in- 
terfere with her career. Marie, confessing her infidelity to 
her husband, tries to accompany O'Shea, but he refuses to 
have anything to do with her. Concluding that O'Shea and 
Marie had run off together, Sonja dismisses him from her 
mind and accepts Loft's offer. She soon becomes a great 
star. Meanwhile O'Shea rehabilitates himself by becoming 
interested in under-privileged boys and, through the efforts 
of Johnson, who convinces Sonja of the true reasons for 
O'Shea's leaving her, is ultimately reunited with his famous 
wife. 

Lynn Starling and Elliott Paul wrote the screen play, 
David Lewis produced it, and William A. Seiter directed it. 
The cast includes Gus Schilling, Iris Adrian, Cheryl Walker, 
Don Loper and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"Docks of New York" 
with the East Side Kids 

(Monogram, no release date set; time, 62 mm.) 

Typical in story development and treatment to the previ- 
ous "East Side Kids" pictures, "Docks of New York," 
though it leaves much to be desired, should get by as pro- 
gram entertainment for the followers of the series. Others 
may find it wearisome. The fault lies in the story; it is far- 
fetched and infantile. Another fault is that none of the play- 
ers seems convincing. Leo Gorcey, as usual, makes the best 
impression; his "tough guy" antics and his misuse of the 
English language provokes a number of hearty laughs: — 

Finding a diamond necklace in an alley, Huntz Hall, one 
of the Kids, takes it to Leo Gorcey, leader of the gang. The 
boys investigate and find Cy Kendall, a murderous-looking 
foreigner, searching for the gems. Kendall chases them, but 
they manage to elude him. Later, Gorcey learns that the 
jewels belonged to Betty Blythe and her niece, Gloria Pope, 
European refugees, who, fearing for their lives, were hiding 
from Kendall. Without revealing that her niece was the 



royal princess of a mythical kingdom, Miss Blythe gives the 
necklace to Gorcey for safekeeping. Meanwhile Kendall and 
George Meeker, Gloria's royal cousin, lay plans to obtain 
the necklace and to seize the kingdom's throne. In need of 
funds, Gloria pawns a paste imitation of the necklace. Ken- 
dall, believing it to be the real necklace, murders the pawn- 
broker and steals it. The Kids discover the murder only to 
find themselves charged with the crime. Kendall, however, 
shrewdly manages to obtain their release and, through a 
trick, obtains the real necklace from Gorcey by switching it 
with the paste imitation. When the police learn that Car- 
lyle Blackwell, Jr., a friend of the Kids, had bought an 
engagement ring for Gloria at the pawnshop, they arrest him 
for the murder. Meanwhile Gorcey discovers that Kendall 
had switched necklaces with him. He and the Kids set out 
on Kendall's trail and, after a series of incidents, in which 
they rescue Gloria from being murdered by Meeker, they 
trap the criminals and clear Blackwell of the murder charge. 
Gloria, revealing her royal status, marries Blackwell. 

Harvey Gates wrote the screen play, Sam Katzman and 
Jack Dictz produced it, and Wallace Fox directed it. The 
cast includes Pierre Watkin and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"The Crime Doctor's Courage" 
with Warner Baxter and Hillary Brooke 

(Columbia, Feb. 27; time, 70 min.) 

This program murder-mystery melodrama should prove 
satisfactory to the followers of the series, for, in spite of the 
fact that the story offers little that is new, the complexities 
of the plot are worked out well enough to hold one's inter- 
est until the end, where the identity of the murderer is 
revealed. In a few situations, the spectator is held in tense 
suspense. The plot is developed along the same lines as the 
previous "Crime Doctor" pictures — that is, by having War- 
ner Baxter conduct the investigation of the murder without 
the sanction of the police: — 

Fearful that her husband (Stephen Crane), whose two 
previous wives met violent death, was going insane, Hillary 
Brooke invites Warner Baxter, a famed psychoanalyst, to a 
dinner party to study the man. At the dinner, Baxter meets 
Jerome Cowan, a mystery-story writer; Lloyd Corngan, Hil- 
lary's eccentric father; Robert Scott, a family friend; and 
Anthony Caruso and Lupita Tovar, a Spanish dance team. 
During dinner, one of the servants reveals himself as the 
brother of Crane's first wife and accuses him of murdering 
her .Crane is later found dead in his study, an apparent 
suicide. Baxter, however, deduces that he had been murdered. 
Suspicion falls on the servant, because of his threats to 
Crane, and on Hillary, because she alone was to inherit 
Crane's huge fortune. Scott, who had long been secretly in 
love with Hillary, asks her to marry him, but she declines 
his attentions. Later, when Scott learns that she was in love 
with Caruso, the dancer, he reveals to Baxter that the danc- 
ing team had never been seen during daylight and intimates 
that they were vampires. Baxter investigates and unearths 
evidence that lends credence to Scott's claim. Additional 
clues, however, reveal to him that the vampirism angle was 
nothing more than a publicity stunt thought up by Cowan. 
Subsequent events put Baxter on the killer's trail, which 
leads him to the dance team's home. There, he finds Cowan 
wounded and Scott about to drive wooden stakes into, the 
hearts of the sleeping dancers. He captures Scott after a 
struggle and proves that he had murdered Crane because he 
wanted Hillary for himself, and that he had tried to kill the 
others because they stood in his way. 

Eric Taylor wrote the screen play, Rudolph C. Flothow 
produced it, and George Sherman directed it. The cast in- 
cludes Emory Parnell, Charles Arnt and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 

Harrison's Reports 

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A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 

Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 1945 No. 10 



A REPORT ON THE 
NEW YORK ANTI-TRUST SUIT 

October 8 has been set as the trial date for the 
Government's antitrust suit against the eight major 
film companies. The date was set at the hearing on 
March 5 before Judge Henry W. Goddard in the 
Federal District Court in New York City. 

While the date set for the trial is later than was 
hoped for in independent circles, the general feeling is 
one of satisfaction because the date is now definite. 

A pre-trial conference has been set for March 26 
in Judge Goddard's chambers to determine the ap- 
proximate length of time the trial will require, and to 
decide which issues may be agreed upon prior to the 
trial. Robert L. Wright, special assistant to the attor- 
ney general, who represented the Government at the 
hearing, estimated that the trial might take from one 
to two years. 

Judge Goddard, after hearing argument on the 
Government's application for a temporary injunction 
relating to unreasonable clearance, which the attor- 
neys for the distributors opposed bitterly, withheld 
his decision pending the filing of briefs by both sides. 

Morris L. Ernst, representing the Society of Inde- 
pendent Motion Picture Producers, argued in favor 
of the Government's application for a temporary in- 
junction against unreasonable clearance, stating that 
his clients would be affected vitally by the court's de- 
cision. Judge Goddard allowed him ten days in which 
to prepare and file a brief. 

An application was made by the Conference of 
Independent Exhibitors, represented by Abram F. 
Myers and Jesse L. Stern, for permission to file a brief 
a amicus curia (friend of the court) . John W. Davis, 
attorney for Loews, former Judge Joseph Proskauer, 
attorney for Warner Brothers, and John Caskey, at- 
torney for Twentieth Century-Fox, objected strongly 
to this application. Notwithstanding, Judge Goddard 
granted the application and accepted the brief. 

Abram F. Myers, in a special bulletin issued March 
6, informed the members of the Independent Confer- 
ence that, in addition to setting a definite trial date, 
two other main objectives were attained at the hear- 
ing. First, the two briefs — the Government's and the 
Independent Conference's— gave Judge Goddard a 
picture of the case he had not had before, thus tending 
to bring him to a realization of the seriousness of the 
case, and secondly, the definite trial date brings Co- 
lumbia, Universal and United Artists back into the 
case as defendants. 

The independent exhibitor associations comprising 
the Conference of Independent Exhibitors, which 
have specifically authorized the submission to the 



Court of the brief and the inclusion of their names as 
friends of the Court are as follows: 

Independent Exhibitors, Inc., of New England, 
covering Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, 
Rhode Island and Vermont; Allied Theatres of Con- 
necticut, Inc. ; Allied Theatre Owners of New Jersey, 
Inc. ; Allied Independent Theatre Owners of Eastern 
Pennsylvania, Inc.; Motion Picture Theatre Owners 
of Maryland, Inc.; Allied Motion Picture Theatre 
Owners of Western Pennsylvania, Inc. ; Independent 
Theatre Owners of Ohio; Allied Theatres of Michi- 
gan, Inc.; Associated Theatre Owners of Indiana, 
Inc.; Allied Theatres of Illinois, Inc.; Independent 
Theatre Owners Protective Association of Wisconsin 
and Upper Michigan; Allied Theatre Owners of 
Texas, Inc.; Independent Theatre Owners of South- 
ern California and Arizona; Independent Theatre 
Owners of Northern California and Nevada; Inde- 
pendent Theatre Owners of Washington, Northern 
Idaho and Alaska; Independent Theatre Owners of 
Oregon; Allied-Independent Theatre Owners of 
Iowa-Nebraska; North Central Allied Independent 
Theatres, Inc.; and Unaffiliated Independent Exhibi- 
tors of New York City. 



EXHIBITORS CLAIM THEIR RIGHTS 
IN RAW FILM STOCK 

Following up its notification to the War Produc- 
tion Board of its intention to compile a comprehensive 
statistical report outlining the difficulties that inde- 
pendent exhibitors will face as a result of the order 
curtailing the number of prints, Allied States Asso- 
ciation, through Abram F. Myers, its general counsel, 
submitted to Stanley Adams, head of the WPB's Con- 
sumer Durable Goods Division, original letters from 
independent exhibitor organizations and from inde- 
pendent exhibitors, located in different parts of the 
country, in which they outline the hardships that a 
further reduction in the already limited supply of 
prints will place upon them in their particular terri- 
tories. 

In his letter transmitting the information from 
different sections of the country, Mr. Myers informed 
Mr. Adams that other independent exhibitor organi- 
zations on the West Coast are preparing reports con- 
cerning conditions in their respective territories. "We 
have suggested the writing of these letters,'" states 
Mr. Myers, "in the belief that you, in handling a 
matter which so vitally affects the theatres, will want 
to have first-hand information from the exhibitors 
themselves. The print shortage and the actions of the 
distributors in taking advantage of it are not confined 
(Continued on last page) 



38 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



"Molly and Me" with Gracie Fields, 
Monty Woolley and Roddy McDowall 

(20th Century Fox, April; time, 76 min.) 

A very entertaining comedy drama, the sort that 
should go over with all types of audiences. The story, 
which deals with the humanization of an embittered 
old man by an unemployed vaudeville performer, who 
becomes his housekeeper, is an appealing combination 
of human interest and comedy; it keeps one chuckling 
consistently and holds one's interest throughout. The 
direction and the performances are skillful. Gracie 
Fields, as the cheerful housekeeper, wins one's sym- 
pathy by her kindness and understanding. The man- 
ner in which she outwits and discharges the house- 
hold's crooked servants, and the means she employs to 
prevent her employer's unfaithful wife from duping 
him, should prove highly amusing. Monty Woolley, 
as the irascible old man, has a part that fits him like a 
glove; his caustic quips are extremely laugh-provok- 
ing. Roddy McDowall, as Woolley 's lonely young 
son, is deeply appealing : — 

In need of funds, Gracie, an unemployed actress, 
tricks Reginald Gardiner, Woolley 's butler and a 
former actor himself, into hiring her as Woolley 's 
housekeeper. Gracie learns that Woolley, a bad tem- 
pered old fellow, had lived in seclusion ever since his 
wife had run off with another man fifteen years pre- 
viously, disrupting his political career. Gracie's pres- 
ence puts new life into the household, and Woolley, 
his spirits raised, decides to resume his political career. 
Shortly after Woolley leaves on a business trip, 
Gracie, discovering that the servants were dishonest, 
discharges them. Meanwhile Roddy McDowall, 
Woolley 's young son returns from boarding school, 
and he and Gracie become fast friends. She learns 
that the boy was uncomfortable in his father's pres- 
ence, and that he believed his mother was dead. Com- 
plications arise when Gracie, short of household help, 
receives word from Woolley to prepare a large dinner 
for some important guests. She enlists the aid of a 
theatrical troupe, her friends, to act as servants. The 
dinner is a huge success, but later, Woolley discharges 
Gracie and her friends when he finds them and Roddy 
harmlessly mimicking his guests during a kitchen 
celebration. Gracie, enraged by Woolley 's insulting 
remarks, denounces him for his treatment of Roddy. 
Her words have a decided effect on the old man, caus- 
ing him to become reconciled with the boy. Shortly 
after Woolley asks Gracie and her friends to stay on, 
his estranged wife returns to blackmail him. Gracie, 
aided by the theatrical troupe, stages a fake murder 
involving the woman, causing her to flee the country. 
It all ends with a romance between Gracie and Wool- 
ley in the offing. 

Leonard Praskins wrote the screen play from a 
novel by Frances Marion. Robert Bassler produced 
it, and Lewis Seller directed it. The cast includes 
Natalie Schafer, Edith Barrett, Queenie Leonard and 
others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Fashion Model" with Marjorie Weaver 
and Robert Lowery 

(Monogram, March 2; time, 61 min.) 
An undistinguished program melodrama. Combin- 
ing murder mystery and comedy, it is not outstanding 
in either; the comedy is silly and forced, and the 
melodramatic angle follows a time-worn pattern. 
About the best thing that can be said for it is that 



the action moves along at a fast pace, and that the 
performances are adequate considering the weak ma- 
terial the players had to work with. Undiscriminating 
audiences may find it amusing in spots: — 

Marjorie Weaver and Robert Lowery, model and 
stock boy, respectively, of a fashionable dress shop, 
become involved in a murder when the body of Lorna 
Gray, another model, is found in the shop's stock 
room. Detective Tim Ryan arrests Lowery on suspi- 
cion of murder, but Marjorie talks him into releasing 
the young man. John Valentine, wealthy admirer of 
the dead model, offers a reward to Edward Keane and 
Dorothy Christy, operators of the shop, in return for 
a valuable brooch, which he claimed he had given to 
Lima. Shortly after, Keane is found murdered under 
circumstances that again point the finger of suspicion 
on Lowery. The young man is arrested, but Marjorie, 
learning of the search for the valuable brooch, engi- 
neers his escape so that they could carry on an investi- 
gation of their own, thus clearing themselves. Through 
the murder of a second model, who had the brooch in 
her possession, Marjorie and Lowery find a clue that 
leads them to the home of Harry Depp and his wife, 
Nell Craig, wealthy customers of the shop. Depp, a 
mild-mannered man, confesses the murders to Mar- 
jorie and informs her that he had been blackmailed by 
Lorna, with whom he had been carrying on a secret 
love affair, and that the others stood in his way when 
he tried to regain the brooch, which belonged to his 
wife. Having confessed, Depp prepares to murder 
Marjorie, but she is saved by the timely arrival of 
Lowery and the police. 

Tim Ryan and Victor Hammond wrote the screen 
play, William Strohbach produced it, and William 
Beadine directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Rough, Tough and Ready" 
with Chester Morris and Victor McLaglen 

(Columbia, March 22; time, 66J/2 min.) 

A moderately entertaining program melodrama, 
suitable mostly for small-town and neighborhood 
theatres as the lower-half of a double bill. Handi- 
cappedvby a trite story and by too much comedy, the 
picture may prove a disappointment to those who may 
expect, from the title, a really exciting melodrama. 
So much stress has been placed on the comedy, which 
at times is quite dull, that it has weakened the story 
dramatically. The plot is made up of familiar in- 
gredients, and it unfolds in just the manner one ex- 
pects. Victor McLaglen and Chester Morris, as bud- 
dies in work but rivals in romantic mix-ups, are a 
none too successful imitation of the "Flagg-Quirt" 
combination. The action affords thrills on several oc- 
casions, and there is a rousing fist fight between the 
two rivals : — 

With the attack on Pearl Harbor, Morris, co- 
partner in a salvage company with Jean Rogers, who 
had inherited her share of the business, offers his sal- 
vage equipment and crew to the Government. The 
Army accepts the offer, and Morris and his men are 
sent to a training camp to study new diving methods. 
Unaware that Jean was madly in love with him, 
Morris took a delight in stealing girl-friends away 
from Victor McLaglen, his friend and co-worker. 
While Morris is away, McLaglen falls in love with 
Veda Ann Borg, a "gold-digger," planning to marry 
her. Morris, returning from camp, learns of Mc- 
Laglen's impending marriage and kiddingly informs 



March 10, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



39 



him that he intends to steal his future bride. Later, 
through a series of coincidents, Morris goes out on a 
date with Veda, completely unaware that she was the 
girl McLaglen intended to marry, Veda fall in love 
with him and jilts McLaglen. Morris, learning what 
had happened, tries to explain to his friend that he 
did not love Veda and that he had no idea that she 
was his girl. McLaglen, however, accuses him of de- 
liberately breaking up the romance and starts a fight. 
Both men are ordered overseas before the breach can 
be healed. While trying to clear a sunken ship from 
the port of a South Pacific island, Japanese planes 
attack the salvage ship and the concussion of their 
bombs pin McLaglen to the wreckage. Morris, risking 
his own life, dons a diving suit and rescues his friend. 
Their friendship resumed, both men return to the 
United States where Morris comes to the realization 
of his love for Jean. 

Edward T. Lowe wrote the screen play, Alexis 
Thurn'Taxis produced it, and Del Lord directed it. 
The cast includes Amelita Ward, Addison Richards 
and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"Earl Carroll Vanities" 
with Dennis O'Keefe and Constance Moore 

(Republic, no release date set; time, 91 min.) 

Just a fair romantic comedy with music. The story 
is somewhat amusing in spots, but since it hasn't much 
substance, and since most of the comedy is ineffective, 
it tends to tire one. Moreover, the plot developments 
are confusing. Unlike the title indicates, the story has 
little to do with either the career of Earl Carroll or 
his glamorous musical revues. Consequently, the pic' 
ture will prove disappointing to those expecting to 
see a lavish type musical. The music, which is of the 
popular variety, and the fact that it is played by 
Woody Herman and his orchestra, should be of con- 
siderable help in selling the picture to the younger 
crowd. Constance Moore, as the heroine, is the main- 
stay of the picture; her singing is pleasant and she 
acts well. As a matter of fact, whatever entertainment 
value the picture has is due more to the efforts of the 
players than to the material. Otto Kruger, as Carroll, 
plays a minor role : — 

Visiting the United States to help float a loan for 
her country, Constance Moore, American-educated 
princess of a mythical Balkan kingdom, attends a night 
club operated by Eve Arden, her close friend. When 
Stephanie Bachelor, the clubs singer fails to appear 
because of an accident, Eve suggests that Constance 
take her place, incognito, of course. Meanwhile 
Dennis O'Keefe, a young playwright, had arranged 
for Earl Carroll (Otto Kruger) to watch Stephanie 
perform. Constance's singing pleases Carroll, and he 
offers to back O'Keefe's show providing Constance 
is starred. Completely unaware of Constance's iden- 
tity, O'Keefe induces her to accept the lead. Con- 
stance, amused, accepts his offer, intending to stay in 
the show only until Stephanie recovers. O'Keefe 
bears down on her during rehearsals, causing many 
quarrels between them. Stephanie, realizing Con- 
stance and O'Keefe were falling in love despite their 
arguments, becomes jealous. She investigates Con- 
stance and, learning of her royal status, informs 
O'Keefe that she was merely playing him for a fool. 
Stephanie next visits Constance's mother, the Queen, 
and informs her of her daughter's Broadway activi- 



ties. The Queen orders Constance to leave the show 
lest her activities cause the international bankers to 
refuse the loan. Constance agrees, but, as a final ges- 
ture, she secretly decides to appear on opening night. 
Learning of her decision, friends of O'Keefe arrange 
for the Queen and the international bankers to at- 
tend the performance. The show is an overwhelming 
hit, the bankers float the loan, and the Queen, pleased, 
approves Constance's engagement to O'Keefe. 

Frank Gill, Jr., wrote the screen play, Albert J. 
Cohen produced it, and Joseph Santley directed it. 
The cast includes Alan Mowbray, Pinky Lee, Parkya- 
karkus, Leon Belasco, Beverly Loyd and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Sudan" with Maria Montez, Jon Hall 
and Turhan Bey 

(Universal, March 2; time, 76 min.) 
This latest in Universale series of romantic adven- 
ture melodramas, photographed in Technicolor and 
featuring the same principal players, has all the action, 
excitement, romance and lavish settings of the previ- 
ous pictures, but as entertainment .it will appeal 
chiefly to the younger element and to the ardent adult 
action fans. As in the other pictures, the story has a 
fairy-like quality, this time revolving around the 
exotic Queen of a mythical Egyptian kingdom. The 
plot, which centers around the Queen's efforts to 
avenge her father's murder, has the usual ramifica- 
tions, such as her falling in love with a commoner, 
who in turn helps her to regain her throne, which had 
been seized by a scheming nobleman. It has all the 
ingredients the action fans like — fast riding, hair- 
breadth escapes, and exciting encounters between 
the villain's warriors and the hero's daring band of 
men: — 

The mysterious assassination of the King of Khem- 
mis brings Maria Montez, his spirited daughter, to the 
throne. George Zucco, the scheming royal chamber- 
lain, who had committed the murder, convinces 
Maria that Turhan Bey, leader of a band of escaped 
slaves, was responsible for the crime. Maria, bent on 
revenge, disguises herself and sets out to find Bey and 
to lure him into a trap. Meanwhile Zuccp arranges 
with a slave trader to kidnap Maria and "dispose" of 
her, so that he could grasp the throne. Captured and 
sold into slavery, Maria makes a spectacular escape 
and finds her way to a desert oasis, where Jon Hall 
and Andy Devine, two vagabonds, rescue her. All 
three go to a nearby village only to fall into the hands 
of the slave trader's henchmen. Just as they are about 
to be executed, Bey and his men arrive in the village, 
rescuing them in a rousing battle. Although attracted 
to Bey, Maria, still determined to avenge her father's 
death, lures him back to Khemmis. She seizes and 
jails him only to find herself in the same predicament 
when Zucco imprisons her and proclaims himself 
King. Hall and Devine, realizing that Maria and Bey 
loved each other, engineer Bey's escape. Enraged, 
Zucco gathers his army and compels Maria to lead 
him to Bey's secret mountain stronghold. There, in a 
climatic battle, Zucco is killed, his army destroyed, 
and Maria and Bey are reunited. 

Edmund L. Hartmann wrote the screen play, Paul 
Malvern produced it, and John Rawlins directed it. 
The cast includes Robert Warwick, Phil Van Zandt 
and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



40 



March 10, 1945 



to any one city or territory, but arc nation-wide. The 
enclosed communications, from Coast to Coast and 
from the Lakes to the Gulf, are representative of the 
experience and opinion of the independent exhibitors 
of the United States." 

Mr. Myers pointed out that the reports transmitted 
disclose that, prior to the WPB's order curtailing the 
number of prints, "the distributors already had re- 
duced the number of prints per picture to such an ex' 
tent that the independent subsequent runs have been 
put far behind in playing time. ... In many cases 
prints were made available to theatres in accordance 
with the admission prices charged — the high price 
theatres first, the low price theatres later." In the Wis- 
consin territory, for example, Mr. Myers said, "houses 
that should play on 30c availability now have to play 
on what should be the 15c and 20c availabilities 
and the end is not in sight." 

"But even more serious," continues Mr. Myers, 
"is the advantage which the distributors are taking of 
the condition, and will continue to take as the print 
situation grows more acute. They use the shortage not 
only to increase the clearance which their affiliated 
theatres enjoy over the independent subsequent-runs 
. . . but actually to extract higher film rentals from 
the independents. The situation is further compli- 
cated by the restrictions on the decline in delivery 
service . . . and increased problems in booking prints 
into the theatres. . . . Also, the subsequent-run theatres 
will be compelled to accept worn, patched, and 'rainy' 
prints which are unsatisfactory to projectionists and 
the public alike and involve a definite fire hazard." 

Stating that the exhibitors have suggested other 
and less burdensome ways of saving film than by a 
reduction of prints, Mr. Myers submitted for Mr. 
Adams' consideration the following suggestions: 
"Elimination of useless film credits — only the title, 
cast and names of the producer and director are of 
possible interest; elimination of unnecessary duplica- 
tion of newsreel shots; reduction of the number of 
short-subjects which exhibitors must often buy and 
cannot use; reduction in the number of over-length 
features; greater care at the studios." 

Charging that the producer-distributors have an 
antagonistic interest or have shown complete indif- 
ference to many of the exhibitors' hardships and diffi- 
culties, Mr. Myers concluded his letter to Mr. Adams 
with a request that he invite representatives of inde- 
pendent exhibitors, chosen from the Theatres Ad- 
visory Committee, to participate in future meetings, 
especially the one tentatively set for March 15, for 
the consideration of film allocations. 

Allied is to be commended for compiling a report 
that is representative, not only of the opinions of in- 
dependent exhibitors, but also of conditions in differ- 
ent parts of the country. 

Thus far, Mr. Adams has given assurances that the 
"WPB will not permit, because of the reductions in 
raw stock quotas, anyone to have an advantage to the 
disadvantage of anyone else. The distribution of 
prints must be on a fair and equal basis for all. Any 
indications to the contrary will bring immediate ac- 
tion for relief by the WPB." 

The information gathered and submitted to Mr. 
Adams by Allied should certainly indicate to him that 
the present distribution of available prints is not being 
made on an equitable basis, and that the need of 
regulatory control over the distributors' use of raw 



stock is a matter of vital interest to the independent 
exhibitors, whose equity in the raw stock is unde- 
niable. 

Harrison's Reports feels sure that at the next 
meeting between the WPB and the Industry's ad- 
visory Committee on Raw Stock, which has now been 
set definitely for March 16, exhibition will be given 
the representation it so rightly deserves. 

* * * 

While on the subject of raw stock, let us look at a 
recent development : 

Motion Picture Daily reports that the British Gov- 
ernment's Board of Trade, concerned over the respon- 
sibility that British films may be frozen out of the 
American market, because of the raw stock shortage, 
has asked the British Embassy in Washington to take 
the matter up with the WPB. 

According to the Daily, the possibility exists that 
the British film industry, unless helped by the WPB, 
may attempt to secure raw stock for pictures to be 
distributed in this country from stock the American 
distributors are now using in Britain for the distribu- 
tion of American pictures. The British market being 
the most lucrative of all foreign markets, it follows 
that the American distributors would find themselves 
in a most difficult position in the event Britain adopted 
retaliatory measures with respect to raw stock. Mean- 
while the Daily credits Stanley Adams of the WPB 
with stating that his agency "has no intention of dis- 
criminating against foreign producers." 

The position of the British producer-distributors is 
worthy of consideration. One cannot blame them for 
seeking as fair treatment in this country as is accorded 
the American producer-distributors in Britain. Our 
foreign commerce depends largely on give-and-take 
relations, and it would seem that the British request 
for an allotment of raw stock to take care of their 
producer-distributors' needs in this country is one 
that cannot be turned aside lightly. 

The fact remains, however, that no matter how the 
problem should be solved, it will result in a further 
tightening of the print situation in this country. And 
any matter that affects the print situation is of vital 
concern to the exhibitors. 

In seeking to placate the British producer-distribu- 
tors, the WPB will undoubtedly confer with the In- 
dustry's Advisory Committee in order to work out an 
equitable arrangement. But unless that Committee 
includes representation for the exhibitors, the outcome 
of the conference may be an arrangement that will 
protect the interests of the producer-distributors of 
both countries at the expense of the American ex' 
hibitor. 



NO LAGGARDS, PLEASE! 

On Wednesday of this week, the committee in 
charge of the industry's Red Cross Drive reported 
that 13,937 theatres, out of a possible 16,478, had 
pledged themselves to participate in the Drive, which 
starts Thursday, March 1 5 and ends on March 2 1 . 

The committee pointed out that this number ex- 
ceeds by more than 500 the number of theatres that 
participated in last year's drive. 

It is indeed a remarkable achievement. But what 
excuse have the 2,541 theatres that have not yet sent 
in their pledge? There can be no excuse! Send that 
pledge in immediately! 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 187*. 



Harrison's Reports 

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Mexico, Cuba, Spain 16.50 . ,- .. _ . „ _. . _ . 

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Australia New 'Zealand' Devoted Chiefly to the Interests of the Exhibitors Established July 1, 1919 

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A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 



Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, MARCH 17, 1945 No. 11 



PERCENTAGE CHECKING IN 
SMALL-TOWN THEATRES 

A mid-western exhibitor, who wishes his name 
withheld, has sent this office a lengthy communication 
in which he claims that the checking of percentage 
pictures "is becoming a menace to small-town ex' 
hibitors," not because of the checking in itself, but 
because the film companies and their checking agen- 
cies are employing, as he says, improper, inexperi- 
enced and untrained personnel to do the checking. 

This exhibitor states that, quite often, the checkers 
employed live in either the town in which the theatre 
is located or a town nearby and, since they have many 
friends locally, the theatre's box-office receipts become 
known to the entire community. This in turn serves 
to encourage non-show people to open an opposition 
house. 

One of of the chief complaints voiced by this ex- 
hibitor concerns the hiring of local bank employees 
and attorneys to do the checking. "There are several 
lawyers in our city," he states, "all of whom are, I 
believe, my friends. Now if one of these lawyers came 
to my theatre to check it, all the others would know 
that he was there and they would wonder whether I 
had been put under some kind of judgment or legal 
restraint relating to some phase of the law, or whether 
I was in debt to some one and that the money was 
being collected by the lawyer. Being my friends, some 
of these lawyers might question me, and it will be 
difficult for them to understand why a film company 
finds it necessary to employ a lawyer to collect rental 
from me. This would be a direct reflection on my char- 
acter. The same holds true when bank employees are 
hired as checkers. There are two banks in our city, 
and I do business with both banks and have the confi- 
dence of both. If an employee of either of them 
showed up in my theatre as a checker, the other bank 
would at once become suspicious and could not be 
made to understand it. Under such conditions, I 
would stand the risk of losing the friendship and good 
will of a bank." 

The inexperienced checker, continues this exhibi- 
tor, is probably the worst of the lot, because he 
knows very little about the correct methods of check- 
ing, and less about the preparation of his reports. As 
a result, he constantly annoys the exhibitor with re- 
quests for guidance and assistance. Frequently, an 
honest exhibitor, to protect himself, finds it necessary 
to make out the complete report himself, in order to 
be sure that it is correct. 

Stressing that he does not want to be arbitrary 
about checking, because he realizes that, where there 
is a partnership engagement on a picture, both parties 
should be represented, this exhibitor concludes that 
"so long as the film companies are going to have per- 
centage pictures, and use checkers, they should em- 



ploy high-type persons with a complete knowledge 
of show business. Persons of this type would be a 
credit to both the theatres and the film companies, 
and would be welcomed by honest exhibitors. With 
the conditions prevailing today, however, this is im' 
possible. Consequently, where the film companies do 
not have a capable checker, they should take a chance 
on getting what is coming to them or sell the pictures 
flat." 

The complaints voiced by this exhibitor present 
nothing new, but they do serve to point up a long- 
standing condition that deserves the thoughtful con- 
sideration of the film companies and their checking 
agencies. 

While Harrison's Reports recognizes the prob- 
lem, it cannot agree with some of the opinions of this 
mid-western exhibitor. For example, he asks on the 
one hand that only high-type persons be employed to 
do the checking, and on the other hand he rules out 
bank employees and lawyers, who are as a rule fairly 
intelligent people, either licensed or bonded, and well 
trained both in the art of being tactful and in the 
ethics against divulging confidential information. If 
they are unsuitable for checking, then just who is 
acceptable? Let us assume for argument's sake that 
bank employees and lawyers would be acceptable 
provided they came from a distant town. In most 
cases, the time required to travel back and forth would 
undoubtedly interfere with their regular business af- 
fairs, and they would either be unable to accept the 
assignment or find it unprofitable. Assuming, how- 
ever, that some of them could arrange their affairs to 
accept the assignment, the cost of hiring them would 
probably be prohibitive. It should be remembered 
that, although the cost of hiring checkers is paid by 
the film companies, the cost is reflected in the per- 
centage terms charged the exhibitor. 

As for the statement that checkers, in addition to 
being high-type persons, should have a thorough 
knowledge of show business, it is difficult to imagine 
such a person devoting his time to checking in view 
of the relatively low wages paid to checkers; if he had 
a thorough knowledge of the business, he would cer- 
tainly want a more interesting and more profitable 
job. 

The exhibitor admits that, in these times, it is prac- 
tically impossible to hire capable men to do the check- 
ing and, as a solution, he suggests that the "com- 
panies should take a chance on getting what is com- 
ing to them or sell the pictures flat." This is indeed 
a simple solution from the standpoint of the exhibitor, 
but it offers nothing that would make it attractive to 
the distributors. They want percentage pictures, and 
these require checking. Should they be willing to 
revert to flat rental pictures, they would undoubtedly 
(Continued on last page) 



42 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



March 17, 1945 



"John Dillinger" with Lawrence Tierney, 
Edmund Lowe and Anne Jeffreys 

(Monogram, Feb. 23; time, 71 min.) 

The value of this picture to exhibitors depends on 
whether their customers like gangster pictures or not, 
for this is a gangster melodrama with gangsterism 
served by the carload. Supposedly biographical of 
John Dillingcr's sordid life of crime, the story is a 
rehash of the old gangster theme in which Dillinger, 
effectively portrayed by Lawrence Tierney, a new- 
comer, is presented as a ruthless criminal, without 
any sense of justice, who does not hesitate to shoot 
people if they happen to be in his way. The plot is 
somewhat episodic, and the action slows down oc- 
casionally, but it has enough ruthless gang killings, 
bank robberies, and daring escapes to satisfy the fol- 
lowers of this type of entertainment. Because of Dil- 
lingcr's notorious reputation, the picture lends itself 
well to exploitation. It is, however, an unpleasant 
entertainment : — 

Dillinger, a petty thief, is caught robbing a store- 
keeper. He is sentenced to six months in prison, where 
he cultivates the friendship of Specs (Edmund Lowe) , 
Murph (Eduardo Ciannelli), and Kirk (Marc Law- 
rence), all dangerous criminals. Upon his release, 
Dillinger stages several small robberies and becomes 
friendly with Helen (Anne Jeffreys), who becomes 
his "moll." He smuggles guns to his pals in prison, 
helping them to shoot their way out. Specs takes 
charge of the gang and leads them on a series of sen- 
sational bank robberies, - but Dillinger eventually 
challenges his leadership and becomes head of the 
gang. While hiding out in Tuscon, Arizona, Dillinger 
visits a dentists office, where the police, "tipped off" 
by Specs, capture him. Fashioning a fake gun from 
a block of wood, Dillinger escapes jail and rejoins the 
gang. He suspects the deposed Specs of causing his 
arrest, and kills him. Badly in need of funds, the 
gang next attempts a mail car robbery, but the clerks 
shoot it out with them, killing Kirk and wounding 
Dillinger. Discovering that Helen intended to run 
off with Tony (Ralph Lewis), a new gang member, 
Dillinger kills him and forces Helen to flee with him 
to Chicago. There, after a number of months, Helen 
becomes tired of hiding out in a dingy room; she 
induces him to attend a picture show, and "tips off" 
the FBI. The Government men kill him when he 
emerges from the theatre and starts a gun battle. 

Phil Yordon wrote the screen play, the King 
Brothers produced it, and Max Nosseck directed it. 
The cast includes Ludwig Stossel, Else Jannsen and 
others. 

Definitely too brutal for children. 

"Brewster's Millions" with Dennis O'Keefe, 
Helen Walker and June Havoc 

(United Artists, no release date set; time 79 min.) 
A highly amusing farce-comedy. In spite of the 
fact that it has been produced twice before in this 
country (by Paramount in 1915 and 1921), and once 
in England (distributed through United Artists in 
1935), the picture should still give satisfaction to 
those who had seen the previous versions, and it will 
undoubtedly prove very entertaining to those seeing 
it for the first time. The story has been brought up 
to date, but it remains basically the same, with hilari- 
ous situations originating from the hero's endeavors 



to fulfill a stipulation in his eccentric uncle's will — - 
that he spend one million dollars within sixty days, 
in order to inherit an additional seven million. Den- 
nis O'Keefe does his best work yet as the harassed 
heir, provoking many laughs by the predicaments he 
gets himself into, because, according to the terms of 
the will, he cannot disclose his reason for spending 
money lavishly, causing his sweetheart and friends 
to think him insane. The pace is fast and the produc- 
tion values are good: — 

On the eve of his long-postponed wedding to Helen 
Walker, O'Keefe, an honorably discharged veteran, 
learns of his inheritance and of the stipulations in 
the will, which included also a provision that he do 
not marry during the time he tries to spend the mil- 
lion dollars. Renting the royal suite at an expensive 
hotel and an entire floor of a huge office building, 
O'Keefe forms an investment company and employs 
Helen, as his secretary, Joe Sawyer and Herbert Rud- 
ley, his war buddies, as assistants, and Eddie "Roch- 
ester" Anderson, Helen's houseman, as general helper, 
paying each of them a fabulous salary. Much to the 
bewilderment and consternation of his friends, 
O'Keefe embarks on a lavish spending spree. He in- 
vests heavily in crack-pot inventions; backs a failing 
musical comedy show produced by Mischa Auer and 
starring June Havoc; enlists the aid of Gail Patrick, 
a spend thrift society girl; buys worthless stocks and 
bonds; and deposits money in a bank that is virtually 
bankrupt. He rids himself of $300,000 within a week 
only to find himself with more money than he started 
with when some of the investments turn out profit- 
able. Meanwhile he has romantic difficulties with 
Helen because of his inability to explain his associ- 
ation with June and with Gail. Hampered by his 
friends who try desperately to curb his spending, and 
by unwanted profits, O'Keefe, after two months of 
frantic efforts, just about manages to dispose of the 
one million dollars in time to gain the balance of the 
estate. 

Siegfried Herzig, Charles Rogers and Wilkie Ma- 
honey wrote the screen play based on the play by 
Winchell Smith and Byron Ongley, Edward Small 
produced it, and Allan Dwan directed it. The cast 
includes Nana Bryant, Neil Hamilton, John Litel, 
Thurston Hall and others. 



"Escape in the Fog" with William Wright, 
Otto Kruger and Nina Foch 

(Columbia, no release date set; time, 63 min.) 

A typical low-budget Columbia program picture, 
unpretentious and only mildly interesting. It is one of 
those implausible espionage melodramas that may get 
by with those who can overlook the far-fetched story 
and the illogical plot develepments. The story is pat- 
terned along familiar lines, with typical melodramatic 
situations brought about by the plots and counter- 
plots of the spies and the Government agents. The 
closing scenes, where the hero and the heroine are 
saved from death and the spies captured, provide the 
most excitement, but hardly the sort to impress dis- 
criminating patrons : — 

Nina Foch, a Navy nurse suffering from nervous 
shock, has a nightmare in which she dreams that two 
men are trying to kill a third as she walks across a 
bridge. Her screams awaken William Wright, an oc- 
cupant of the rooming house, whom Nina recognizes 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



43 



as the man attacked in her dream. Lunching with- 
Wright on the following day, Nina learns that 
he is a secret Government agent. They fall in love, 
and Wright invites her to visit San Francisco with 
him. There, Otto Kruger, Wright's chief, gives him 
an important document to be delivered in Hong Kong. 
Meanwhile Konstantin Shayne, a German spy posing 
as a watchmaker, had hidden a recording device in 
Kruger's home, enabling him to learn of Wright's 
secret mission. He and his agents trick Wright into a 
taxi and drive towards a bridge. Just then, Nina is 
knocked unconscious by a passing car and the same 
dream she had before comes to her. Recovering, she 
hurries to the bridge, arriving in time to scare off the 
spies just as they attack Wright. Meanwhile Wright, 
to save the document, had thrown it over the bridge 
and into the bay. He enlists the aid of the Navy to 
search for it. The spies, through an advertisement, 
trick Nina into coming to their hideout in the belief 
that they had found the document. Shayne sends 
Wright a note threatening to kill Nina unless he pro- 
duced the document. Wright, in a desperate effort 
to save her, falls into their clutches. The document is 
taken from him, and both are left to die in a gas-filled 
room. But Wright, through an ingenious trick, noti- 
fies the police of his predicament, and they arrive in 
time to effect their rescue and to capture the spies. 

Aubrey Wisberg wrote the screen play, Wallace 
MacDonald produced it, and Oscar Boetticher, Jr. 
directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Fog Island" with George Zucco 
and Lionel Atwill 

(PRC, Feb. 15; time, 70 min.) 

Fairly good program entertainment. It is an eerie 
murder mystery melodrama revolving around an em- 
bittered financier who formulates a plan to avenge 
himself against group of greedy associates, one of 
whom had murdered his wife. The lone mansion in 
which the action takes place, and the -eerie under- 
ground settings, provide an effective background for 
the bizarre happenings. It holds one in suspense be- 
cause several persons are under suspicion, and it is 
baffling enough to satisfy the followers of the type of 
pictures. The closing scenes are filled with excitement. 
There, the mercenary associates are trapped in an 
underground vault, drowning when an ingenious 
device rigged up by the financier fills it with water. 
The sustained suspense is due mainly to Terry Morse's 
capable direction. There is some romantic interest 
but it is unimportant: — 

Retiring to a fog-shrouded island after serving a 
prison term for embezzlement, George Zucco, plans 
revenge on the group of greedy associates who had 
been responsible for his incarceration and for the 
murder of his wife. He sends invitations to Lionel 
Atwill, a crooked lawyer, Jerome Cowan, a shady 
promoter, Veda Ann Borg, his former secretary, and 
Jacqueline DeWitt, a fake clairvoyant, inviting them 
to the island. Each accepts in the belief that Zucco 
has cached a stolen fortune on the island and meant 
to "cut them in." When they arrive, Zucco bluntly 
tells them that he intended to uncover his wife's 
murderer, and gives each one a "clue" to the sup- 
posedly hidden fortune. Distrusting one another, the 
associates prowl about the house following up their 



clues to the money. Zucco, trailing each one, dis- 
covers that Atwill had murdered his wife. Accused, 
Atwill murders the financier, but Zucco's carefully 
laid plan for revenge continues despite his death. In 
the search for the fortune, two more murders are 
committed before the remaining members find indi- 
cations that the "money" was buried in an under- 
ground vault. All agree to share equally and begin 
to dig for the strong-box. Their digging sets off a de- 
vice that locks the door and causes the vault to fill 
with water. Before all are destroyed by their own 
greed, they discover that Zucco's hidden fortune was 
a myth. 

Pierre Gendron wrote the screen play and Leon 
Fromkess produced it. The cast includes Ian Keith, 
Sharon Douglas, John Whitney and others. 

The murders make it too gruesome for children. 



"Hollywood and Vine" with James Ellison 
and Wanda McKay 

(PRC, April 25; time, 58 min.) 

An entertaining program comedy-romance. Al- 
though the story is loosely written and it has its share 
of foolishness, it holds one's attention because of the 
amusing characterizations and the well conceived 
farcical situations. Moreover, the Hollywood back- 
ground should prove interesting to most patrons. 
There are several spots that provoke hearty laughter; 
as a matter of fact, there is hardly a dull moment. It 
goes in for some good-natured kidding of the motion 
picture business and of some Hollywood characters. 
The performances are engaging : — 

On her way to Hollywood to seek a movie career, 
Wanda McKay stops at a hamburger stand, where 
she atracts the attention of James Ellison, a successful 
studio writer. When Wanda leaves, Ellison, noticing 
a small dog in the place, believes that she had left it 
behind. He takes the dog and follows her to Holly- 
wood, where, using a fictitious name, he rents a cottage 
next to her bungalow. Wanda denies ownership of the 
dog but offers to take care of it. A romance develops 
between the two and, Ellison, to be near Wanda, se- 
cures a job as a soda clerk in a drugstore, where 
Wanda worked as a cashier. Meanwhile Ellison's 
studio carries on a frantic search for him until June 
Clyde, a glamorous actress, who hoped to marry Elli- 
son, locates him in the drugstore. Wanda, learning of 
his masquerade, determines to forget about him and 
concentrate upon her career. One day, when Wanda 
visits a studio, her dog wanders onto a set and is 
chosen by Leon Belasco, an eccentric director, to play 
a part in his forthcoming picture. The dog becomes 
popular nationally and, at the height of its success, a 
law suit is brought against Wanda and the studio by 
a woman claiming ownership of the dog. Just as 
Wanda is about to lose the dog at the trial, Ellison, 
who had been carrying on an investigation secretly, 
arrives in court with conclusive evidence proving the 
woman's claim false. Wanda, Ellison, and the dog 
leave the courtroom reunited happily. 

Edith Watkins and Charles Williams wrote the 
screen play, Leon Fromkess produced it, and Alexis 
Thurn-Taxis directed it. The cast includes Ralph 
Morgan, Franklyn Pangborn, Emmett Lynn and 
others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



44 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



March 17, 1945 



set the rentals high enough to give them the profit 
they believe the pictures should earn, and these would 
be much too high for the average small-town exhibitor 
to meet. 

Though we disagree with some of the views expound- 
ed by this exhibitor, the fact remains that the problem 
of checking theatre receipts in small towns has yet to 
be solved adequately. The stationing in either a thea- 
tre box-office or lobby of unfamiliar and unregulated 
persons, some of whom are uncouth and unreliable, 
has long been a thorn in the exhibitor's side. More- 
over, their very presence and lack of diplomacy often 
serve to cast doubts on the integrity of the exhibitor. 
Yet we cannot get away from the fact that checking, 
because of the low wages and because most of it is 
part-time work, is not the type of employment to 
attract the most capable and efficient men. 

Recently five distributing companies, namely, Par- 
amount, RKO, Universal, United Artists, and Co' 
lumbia organized a new national checking organiza- 
tion, the purpose of which is to provide them with a 
checking service operated on a non-profit basis. This 
new organization, known as Confidential Reports, 
Inc., begins operating on April 2 under the active 
supervision of Jack H. Levin, Vice President and 
General Manager, who, for the past seventeen years, 
had been associated with the Copyright Protection 
Bureau, from which he resigned about two weeks ago. 
John J. O'Connor, Vice President of Universal, is 
President of the new organization, which plans to 
have thirty-one branches located in the key city dis- 
tribution centers, and whose services will be available 
to all producers and distributors. 

At a trade press luncheon announcing the forma- 
tion of the organization, Mr. Levin said that it was 
"the aim of Confidential Reports, Inc., to render, 
confidentially, checking reports, so as to provide the 
distributor and exhibitor alike with a sound and ob- 
jective basis for the conduct of their business with 
each other. We anticipate the good will of the entire 
industry in achieving this purpose." 

As said before, the problem of checking small-town 
theatres in a manner that will not do an injustice to 
the exhibitor has yet to be solved adequately. Perhaps 
Confidential Reports, in an endeavor to fulfill its aims, 
will make an effort to provide the industry with a 
corps of checkers who will be thoroughly trained in 
the art of making themselves inconspicuous and who 
will in no way make their stay at a theatre an ob- 
noxious one. At any rate, the problem presents a 
challenge to this new checking organization. 

MORE DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES 
NEEDED FOR THE GOOD 
OF THE BUSINESS 

In an interview he gave to Motion Picture Daily 
of March 1, David Loew said that, after the war, 
other distribution companies will be formed as a re- 
sult of the demand of independent producers for out- 
side distribution. 

Mr. Loew believes that, if new major distribution 
concerns were formed, there would be a rush to make 
deals in order to share in the distribution of then- 
pictures as well as in the production of them. 

This paper does not know what has prompted Mr. 
Loew, who is now releasing his pictures through 
United Artists, to make such a statement, but for 
some time now there has been talk of the need of new 



distribution companies to encourage new production 
•and star talent. 

Under the present setup, there is very little en' 
couragement of independent production. Five of the 
companies own theatres and, with the exception of 
RKO, their doors are virtually closed to the inde- 
pendent producer seeking a release for his pictures. 
Of the companies that do not own theatres, only 
United Artists releases independently produced pic- 
tures, but the difficulties of releasing pictures through 
United Artists are, at present, almost insurmountable. 
To begin with, when an independent producer ap- 
proaches United Artists with a good story, the first 
question that he is asked is: "What star is going to 
be in it?" And with the present scarcity of free-lance 
stars, he hasn't a chance to get a releasing agreement. 

Monogram is the only other company that will 
accept independent producer deals, but its distribu- 
tion terms are so high that it is difficult for a pro- 
ducer to come out with a profit, for Monogram de- 
mands for distribution fifty percent of the gross re- 
ceipts, regardless of the amount of money that an in- 
dependent producer may intend to spend on his pic- 
ture. 

Distribution has always been more or less closed to 
independent brains. In many cases where an inde- 
pendent, without a star, or a best seller, or a successful 
Broadway play, approached any one of the distribu- 
tion companies, the answer of its executives was and 
still is: "Why should we give you a releasing agree- 
ment and receive only a small portion of the gross 
receipts when we can spend all the money ourselves 
and receive all the profits?" 

Several years ago a friend of mine approached one 
of the top executives of the old Universal for a re- 
leasing deal. I had arranged a luncheon for him and 
so I was present. When this executive made the 
aforementioned statement to my friend, I begged 
leave to answer him myself; I said: "For the same 
reason that interbreeding should be avoided. When 
you fail to bring into your company new blood, the 
pictures it produces are similar to one another — there 
is no variety. Eventually people get tired of such 
pictures and stop going to see them. That is what is 
going to happen to Universal, and unless you infuse 
new blood and make deals with people who will bring 
new ideas into your company, it will go out of busi- 
ness." Not long after, the old crowd sold the company 
to a new group. And the new owners made a success 
of it because they went into the company with new 
ideas. 

If one should watch the product of each company 
closely, he would find that there is a similarity in the 
pictures produced by it, by reason of the fact that 
the stories are ultimately passed upon by a handful 
of the same people, with the result that the viewpoint 
of these people colors all its pictures. 

Mr. Loew is right: new distribution companies 
will be formed after the war; there is need for them 
— a need for distribution companies that will en- 
courage people with brains and capital, able to pro- 
duce good pictures. Such companies cannot help 
proving financially successful. And the independent 
exhibitors will profit by whatever support they give 
to such companies, for at present the industry is a 
virtual monopoly, and the only way to break it is to 
encourage and support new production and dis- 
tribution. 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 187S. 

Harrison's Reports 

Yearly Subscription Rates: 1270 SIXTH AVENUE Published Weekly by 

United States $15.00 D nnm Kio Harrison's Reports, Inc., 

U. S. Insular Possessions. 16.50 i\uum 1014 Publisher 

Canada 16.50 New York 20, N. Y. P. S. HARRISON, Editor 

Mexico Cuba, Spain 16.50 A MotJon picture Reviewing Service 

oreat Britain . .... ... .... io.io Devoted Chiefly to the Interests of the Exhibitors Established July 1, 1919 

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Sbc a Copy Columns, .if It is to Benefit the Exhibitor. 

A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 

Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, MARCH 24, 1945 No. 12 



Public Relations and the War Activities Committee 



Administrator Chester Bowles, of the OPA, has reconv 
mended to Congress that a ceiling be put on the admission 
prices of theatres. 

James F. Byrnes, Director of the Office of War Mobiliza- 
tion, in his curfew announcement, "lumped" theatres in 
with saloons, dance halls, gambling joints and other riffraff 
of the entertainment world, although it was obvious that 
very few theatres remained open after midnight. 

While the War Production Board has given the theatres 
a fair priority on repair parts and equipment replacements, 
War Manpower Chief McNutt has placed theatre employees 
on the non-deferrable list and, in addition, has issued a 
follow-up on the curfew in which he, too, lists the theatres 
with the "joints." 

Whenever a fuel shortage has threatened, Federal, State 
and Municipal officials have been quick to advocate the clos- 
ing of theatres, although keeping the theatres open un- 
doubtedly would save fuel, since many theatre-goers turn 
down their furnaces before leaving for the theatre. 

To the foregoing may be added the doubling of the Fed- 
eral tax on admissions, the denial of Freon to the theatres, 
the serious reduction in the allocation of raw film stock, 
causing a print shortage, and the imposition of an almost 
total blackout on a business that has always been character- 
ized by an abundance of light — light being its trade mark. 

Let us review very briefly — for the facts are well known— 
the many contributions that the motion picture industry has 
made to the war effort. The industry has — 

( 1 ) Taken the lead in every war loan drive. So successful 
have the theatres been that Secretary Morgenthau has re- 
ferred to them as "the cash registers of the Treasury." 

(2) Placed the screens unreservedly at the disposal of 
the Government for purposes of education and indoctrina- 
tion, without cost to the Government. 

(3) Supported all Red Cross, USO and Infantile Paraly- 
sis drives, collecting vast sums for those agencies and thus 
insuring their continuance and success. 

(4) Produced and distributed short subjects for the Gov- 
ernment, at cost. 

(5) Rendered to the Government every aid in the war 
effort whenever requested or needed. 

It is obvious, therefore, that the public relations of the 
motion picture industry have broken down just when they 
were needed most. When the industry, in aid of the war 
effort, is functioning as a whole, the industry, in its public 
relations, should be represented as a whole. The War Activi- 
ties Committee would seem to be, in theory at least, the ideal 
agency for the handling of public relations during war-time. 
The results, as already outlined, show that it has failed in 
this regard. Let us inquire as to the reasons for this failure. 

At its annual directors meeting, held recently in Colum- 
bus, Ohio, Allied States Association of Motion Picture Ex- 
hibitors adopted a resolution praising the War Activities 
Committee for its accomplishments in support of the war 
effort, and pledging Allied's continued loyal support in all 



matters affecting that effort, but suggesting that certain re- 
forms be made in its procedure and that it be terminated at 
the end of the war. Immediately there was an outcry by cer- 
tain persons in the industry accusing Allied of being un- 
patriotic, and by that resolution hampering the war effort. 
Since the resolution heaped praise on the WAC and pledged 
continued support, and since its name implies that the WAC 
was formed merely for war purposes, it is absurd to say that 
Allied either hampered the war effort, or intended to hamper 
it. 

In heaping abuse upon Allied, these critics either over- 
looked, or intentionally hid, the reason that undoubtedly 
prompted Allied's action. Throughout the Sixth War Loan 
drive, spokesmen for the distributors, at practically every 
meeting, advocated continuing the WAC as an all-industry 
good-will agency. While using such phrases as "all-industry," 
"united front" and "unity," these speakers were, neverthe- 
less, advocating the perpetuation of the WAC as it had been 
operating. This reached a climax when Ted Gamble, Na- 
tional Director, War Finance Division, U. S. Treasury, at 
the annual meeting of the Variety Clubs of America, held 
in Washington, D. O, last November, forgot that this was 
not a political, but a charitable organization, and dipped 
into industry politics by advising exhibitors that theatre 
divorcement will not solve their problems, and by express- 
ing the hope that the War Activities Committee would be 
continued even after the war. 

It now transpires that not only Allied, but other exhibi- 
tors who do not belong to Allied, became alarmed by these 
tactics, and at the meeting of the WAC's Executive Com- 
mittee, Theatres Division, on November 30, 1944, caused 
a resolution to be adopted to the effect that representatives 
of the WAC should cease advocating the perpetuation of 
that organization after the war. Thus the Allied board 
merely voiced a sentiment that had already been approved 
by the Theatres Division of the WAC! 

In the condemnation of Allied's resolution, one passage 
of the resolution was ignored, and that passage should now 
be considered calmly and dispassionately by all members of 
the industry. It states, in part: "the Committee goes far 
beyond its original purpose when ... it names individuals 
familiar with conditions in only a single film territory to rep- 
resent and speak for the entire industry in reference to man- 
power and material shortages, fuel conservation, or other 
matters not within the original intendment of the Com- 
mittee." 

The WAC's letterhead shows it to be, in form, an all- 
industry organization. The Co-Ordinating Committee of 
the WAC includes in its membership the cream of the in- 
dustry. Obviously, that Committee could exert tremendous 
influence and create invaluable good will by functioning as 
a body. Yet the extent to which the Committee has actually 
been consulted in the operation of the WAC is questionable. 

Why hasn't the Co-Ordinating Committee conferred with 
the President, the WPB, the WMC, the OPA, the OWM 
(Continued on last page) 



March 24, 1945 



"The Royal Scandal" with 
Tallulah Bankhead, Charles Coburn, 
Anne Baxter and William Eythe 

(20th Century-Fox, April; time. 94 min.) 
An excellent Ernst Lubitsch comedy-farce; the settings 
are magnificent, the direction brilliant, and the perform' 
ances of the entire cast fine. Highly sophisticated, the story 
is a gay version of Catherine the Great's amorous inclina- 
tions, concentrating on her affair with an impetuous but 
not too bright young officer, whose fiancee was one of her 
ladies-in-waiting. Cleverly worked into the story is a by-plot 
concerning the machinations of a palace military clique, who 
scheme to seise the throne. The resultant situations, together 
with the extremely clever dialogue, keep one laughing 
hilariously all the way through. Tallulah Bankhead, as the 
Czarina, is dynamic and convincing in a role of many moods, 
and the others in the cast play their parts to perfection. 
The theme is risque, but it has been handled so expertly that 
it docs not offend. The picture should turn out to be an out- 
standing box-office attraction: — , 

Beset by unrest among her military leaders, the Czarina 
rules Russia with the aid of her wily Chancellor (Charles 
Coburn), on whom she depended heavily. The palace is 
turned into a furore when Lieut. William Eythe, a dashing 
young cavalryman, rides in from the Western front to warn 
the Czarina of a military plot to dethrone her. The hand- 
some young officer wins the Czarina's gratitude and like- 
wise her heart. She commands him to remain at the court 
indefinitely, raising his rank to Commander of the Palace 
Guards. Bewildered, but flattered by the Czarina's atten- 
tions and amorous advances, Eythe pictures himself has a 
great leader and embarks on a program for the betterment 
of Russian peasants. He issues numerous edicts, all of which 
find their way into the wastebaskct at the direction of the 
Czarina. Complications arise when the Czarina learns that 
Eythe was engaged to Anne Baxter, one of her ladies-in- 
waiting. She shrewdly arranges for Anne to leave the palace 
for a long rest, but Anne, aware of her motive defies her. 
Indignant, the Czarina plans to punish both Anne and 
Eythe. The young officer, humiliated by her treatment of 
him, rebels; he joins the Palace Guards in a plot to dethrone 
her. The sly old Chancellor, however, foils the plot. Eythe 
is found guilty of treason and sentenced to die. But through 
the Chancellor's shrewd manipulations, he is pardoned by 
the Czarina when she turns her fickle attentions upon Vin- 
cent Price, the newly-arrived handsome French ambassador. 

Edwin Justus Mayer wrote the screen play, and Otto 
Preminger directed it. The cast includes Mischa Auer, Sig 
Ruman, Vladmir Sokoloff, Mikhail Rasumny and others. 

Adult entertainment. 



"The House of Fear" with Basil Rathbone 
and Nigel Bruce 

( Universal, March 16; time, 68 min.) 

This latest of the "Sherlock Holmes" murder mystery 
melodramas is below par for the series. It should, however, 
serve its purpose as a supporting feature. There is nothing 
unusual about the production, most of it being repititious of 
the previous pictures. The story and treatment follow the 
usual formula — that is, mysterious murders are committed, 
"Holmes" is called in on the case, and through his amazing 
though implausible powers of deduction, and with the aid 
of his trusty friend, "Dr. Watson," clears up the mystery. 
The action slows down considerably in spots, and the sus- 
pense usually found in pictures of this type is lacking: — 

Called upon to solve the mysterious deaths of two wealthy 
men, members of an exclusive club known as "The Good 
Comrades," Holmes (Basil Rathbone), accompanied by his 
friend, Dr. Watson (Nigel Bruce), goes to the Scottish 
mansion where the club members lived. There he learns that 
each of the members, of whom five were alive, carried a large 
insurance policy upon himself, payable to the last surviving 



member of the club. Holmes learns also that, in each death, 
the victim was so mutilated that his body was barely recog- 
nizable. Different clues lead Holmes to suspect one or an- 
other of the members of murdering his comrades and, dur- 
ing his investigation, additional murders arc committed until 
the club is reduced to two surviving members. Meanwhile 
several attempts are made on his and Dr. Watson's life. 
Holmes finally discovers a solution to the crimes through 
the murder of a village tobacconist, who had been shot after 
declaring that he had seen one of the murdered men walking 
on the beach. Following up this clue, Holmes discovers an 
underground tunnel leading from the mansion to the sea, 
where he finds the supposedly murdered club members very 
much alive. He proves that they had robbed graves and had 
disguised the corpses to appear like each of them in an 
ingenious scheme to collect the insurance money. 

Roy Chanslor wrote the screen play based on the "Ad- 
ventures of the Five Orange Pips" by Sir Arthur Conan 
Doyle. Roy Williams Neill produced and directed it. The 
cast includes Aubrey Mather, Dennis Hoey, Paul Cavanagh 
and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"The Clock" with Judy Garland 
and Robert Walker 

(MGM, no release date set, lime, 90 mm.) 

Fairly good mass entertainment. It is a timely romantic 
drama, appealingly told and well acted, revolving around 
the experiences of a lonely young soldier and a girl, who 
meet, fall in love, and marry, all within his forty-eight hour 
furlough, prior to being shipped overseas. The story is 
simple and somewhat contrived, but it appeals to the emo- 
tions of sympathy deeply, and it will be appreciated by the 
masses because it concerns romantic problems similar to 
those confronting many young people today. The most 
touching scenes take place toward the finish where, with but 
a few hours left of the young man's furlough, the couple 
decide to get married only to lose each other in a subway 
rush and to encounter numerous legal difficulties. It has 
some good comedy situations, particularly the one in which 
Kccnan Wynn appears as an oratorical drunkard. People 
who have never visited New York should find the back- 
grounds interesting, for they provide a pretty good view of 
the city's famous landmarks. The production values are in 
keeping with the usual MGM standard of excellence: — 

Corporal Robert Walker, visiting New York on a forty- 
eight hour furlough, meets Judy Garland, a young office 
worker, when she accidentally trips over his suitcase. Awed 
by the immensity of the city, and feeling lonely, Walker 
asks Judy for permission to ride with her on a Fifth Avenue 
bus. Judy consents and, after spending the afternoon with 
him, agrees to go out with him that evening. The end of the 
evening finds them both deeply in love. When they miss the 
last bus home, James Gleason, a milk truck driver, offers 
them a lift. They spend the night with him, helping to 
deliver milk, then accept his invitation to breakfast at his 
home. There, Gleason's wife (Lucile Gleason) urges them 
to get married at once instead of waiting until after the war. 
The young couple accept her suggestion and rush to City 
Hall for a marriage license. They become separated in the 
subway, and for the first time realize that neither knew the 
other's last name. After frantic attempts to find each other, 
they meet once again in Pennsylvania Station. They are 
finally married at City Hall after overcoming countless 
legalities, but as they leave the building they feel strange 
and uncomfortable. Passing a church, both enter and 
solemnly repeat to each other their marriage vows. On the 
following morning, they part, confident that they will soon 
be reunited. 

Robert Nathan and Joseph Schrank wrote the screen play, 
Arthur Freed produced it, and Vincente Minnelli directed 
it. The cast includes Marshall Thompson, Ruth Brady, and 
others. 



March 24, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



47 



"Colonel Blimp" with Anton Walbrook, 
Roger Livesey and Deborah Kerr 

(United Artists, no release date set; time, 148 min.) 

No one can deny the excellence of both the production 
and the acting given to this British-made, Technicolor 
comedy-drama, but its appeal will be mainly to high class 
audiences, who will better understand the story's objective, 
which seems to be that war with Germany cannot be fought 
on a sportsmanship basis. Centering mainly around one 
character, the story covers the career of a British Army 
officer from the time of the Boer War to the present con- 
flict, showing how with the passing years he progressed in 
rank but remained old-fashioned in his ideas of warfare, 
maintaining that Britain, despite Germany's atrocities and 
her refusal to recognize accepted rules of warfare, should 
employ the honorable methods of his Boer War Campaign 
days. The manner in which he is made to realize that his 
ideas are antiquated, provides some highly humorous as 
well as deeply stirring moments. Roger Livesey, as the Brit- 
ish officer, is properly dashing a young man, and typically 
pompous as an older man, but at all times thoroughly human 
and lovable. Anton Walbrook, as the young German officer 
who in later years becomes a strong anti-Nazi refugee, highly 
critical of the British, gives an outstanding performance. 
There is a pleasant romantic interest interwined in the plot. 
Since the players are not well known to American audi- 
ences, the picture will require extensive exploitation. 

As a young officer at the turn of the century, Livesey is 
shown becoming involved in a political brawl in Berlin with 
an anti-British propagandist, whose friends, seeking satis- 
faction, force him to fight a duel with a German officer 
(Walbrook). In the hospital to which both are taken, 
Livesey and Walbrook become fast friends. Deborah Kerr, 
an English governess in Berlin, to whom the duel had been 
attributed to avoid international complications, falls in 
love with Walbrook and marries him. Too late, Livesey 
realizes that he, too, loved her, but he gallantly returns to 
England. With the passing years, he becomes a Colonel 
during World War I, at which time he again meets Wal- 
brook, now a prisoner of war. But Livesey treats him as a 
friend. World War II finds Livesey, now an elderly man, 
on active duty, and Walbrook, who, too, was along in years, 
a refugee from Nazidom. Livesey becomes depressed when 
the War Office retires him because of his outmoded ideas, 
but Walbrook persuades him to help organize the Home 
Guard. He plunges into the work with vigor; but his ideas 
remain old fashioned. He is finally brought to a realization 
of his antiquated methods when, during a sham battle 
staged by the Home Guard, the "attackers" ignore the rules 
of warfare and take him "prisoner" while he enjoys a 
Turkish bath. 

The screen play was written, produced and directed by 
Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. 
Unobjectionable morally. 

"The Man Who Walked Alone" 
with David O'Brien and Kay Aldridge 

(PRC, March 15; time, 73 min.) 

Just a moderately amusing romantic comedy of program 
grade; its appeal will be mainly to undiscriminating audi- 
ences in small-town and neighborhood theatres. Revolving 
around the romantic bickering between a returning war hero 
and a madcap heiress, who seeks to rid herself of her stuffed- 
shirt fiance, the story is so thin and so obvious that one 
knows in advance just what is going to happen. Another 
fault is that it is too "talky," slowing the action down con- 
siderably. It has a number of amusing episodes, but a good 
deal of the comedy is quite feeble. The performances are 
just passable: — 

Hitchhiking to a small town, Pavid O'Brien, an honor- 
ably discharged veteran, is given a lift by Kay Aldridge, a 
wealthy society girl, who had deserted her fiance (Smith 
Ballew), taking his car without his permission. Kay and 
O'Brien get to bickering over a flat tire when the police, 
recognizing the stolen car, question them. Kay makes it 



appear as if O'Brien were her accomplice. Both are taken to 
jail, but are released when Kay establishes her identity. 
Finding herself falling in love with O'Brien, Kay employs 
him as a chauffeur on the family's country estate. Meanwhile 
the newspapers print a scandalous story about her arrest and 
about her forsaking Ballew for O'Brien. Her irate mother 
(Isabel Randolph) and her equally angry fiance rush out to 
the estate, accompanied by other members of the family. 
They make every effort to break up the romance, but Kay 
stands her ground. Learning that O'Brien had been a sol- 
dier, and believing him to be a deserter, Kay's mother and 
Ballew telephone the authorities and demand his arrest. By 
this time O'Brien, disgusted with the family's attitude, de- 
cides to leave of his own accord. But before he can depart, 
scores of townspeople, headed by a band, march up to the 
estate; they had learned of his heroic deeds on the battle- 
fronts, and the ovation was in his honor. Much to the fam- 
ily's chagrin, Kay takes her place at O'Brien's side, and 
announces her intention to marry him. 

Christy Cabanne wrote the story, directed it, and acted as 
associate producer. Leon Fromkess produced it. The cast in- 
cludes Walter Catlett, "Big Boy" Williams, Nancy June 
Robinson, Ruth Lee, Tom Dugan and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Without Love" with Katharine Hepburn 
and Spencer Tracy 

(MGM, no release date set; time, 111 min.) 
In adapting this from the Theatre Guild's stage play of 
the same title, the producers have altered the plot con- 
siderably; to such an extent, in fact, that the story is un- 
recognizable. It is, however, an amusing comedy-drama, 
which should prove to be a pretty good box-office attraction 
because of the leading players' popularity. The story, which 
revolves around a young couple who marry for convenience 
and agree never to fall in love, is incongruous, but good 
performances and some bright comedy situations make it 
the type of entertainment that leaves an audience in a 
pleasant mood. Most of the comedy is brought about by the 
young couple's endeavors to suppress their desire for one 
another. There is more talk than action, but the sparkling 
dialogue is a compensating factor. A secondary romance 
between Keenan Wynn and Lucille Ball, with Patricia 
Morison as the other woman, provides some humorous 
moments: — 

Seeking a house in Washington, D. C, to conduct secret 
experiments for his invention of an aviator's oxygen helmet, 
Spencer Tracy, a scientist, meets up with Keenan Wynn, 
an intoxicated playboy, who invites him to spend the night 
in a house owned by his cousin (Katharine Hepburn), a 
young widow. On the following morning, Katharine learns 
that Tracy's late father and her father had been old friends, 
and she agrees to let him conduct the experiments in her 
house. Later, both become better acquainted and learn that 
each was disillusioned insofar as love was concerned. Tracy 
had been jilted by a Parisian girl; Katharine lost her happi- 
ness through the death of her husband. When Katharine 
suggests that they marry purely on a platonic basis, so that 
she could assist him with his experiments, Tracy consents. 
They keep their platonic pact until Carl Esmond, a mutual 
friend, makes love to Katharine, awakening her love for 
Tracy. When he learns of Esmond's advances, Tracy sup- 
presses his jealousy. The big test of their "loveless" mar- 
riage comes about when Katharine, learning that the Parisian 
girl who had jilted Tracy was trying to contact him, quarrels 
with him. In an endeavor to arouse Tracy, she goes out with 
Esmond. Her actions have the desired effect on Tracy and, 
after a series of incidents that cause him to suspect that 
she had been unfaithful, both discard their platonic pact 
and embrace. 

Donald Ogden Stewart wrote the screen play based on 
the play by Philip Barry, Lawrence A. Weingartcn produced 
it, and Harold S. Bucquct directed it. The cast includes 
Felix Bressart and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



48 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



March 24, 1945 



and other war agencies in reference to vital industry prob- 
lems? 

Why has no effort been made, through the exhibitor 
organizations represented on the Co-Ordinating Committee, 
to enlist the support and influence of the rank and file of 
exhibitors throughout the country — the "little fellows" who, 
nevertheless, are able to call their Washington representa- 
tives by their first names? 

Why has no consideration been given to Allied's temper- 
ate criticisms and pertinent suggestions instead of allowing 
the matter to rest upon the intemperate outbursts and 
charges of a few individuals? 

The writer of this article realizes that he, too, is exposing 
himself to a torrent of abuse; but to impute a wrong motive 
to this writer will do him the greatest injustice imaginable. 
In bringing these facts to your attention my sole purpose is 
to expose the weakness of the industry's public relations 
and to point out how they can be improved. 

In order to bring this about, the WAC must be strength- 
ened and made to function as a truly representative body. 
It must not become, or even appear to become, the private 
property of a handful of individuals. Utilizing to the fullest 
the manpower represented on the Co-Ordinating Committee 
and the Executive Committee of the Theatres Division, as 
well as the industry organizations represented by them, all 
mistakes of the past can be cured and the WAC can render 
a great service in restoring the prestige of the motion pic- 
ture industry and elevating it in public esteem. 

If that be treason, make the most of it! 



THE THIRTIETH ANNIVERSARY 
OF 20TH CENTURY-FOX FILM 
CORPORATION 

Next month, Twentieth Century-Fox will celebrate its 
Thirtieth Anniversary. It was in 1915, when William Fox 
released two Theda Bara pictures, "A Fool There Was" and 
"Kreutzer's Sonata" under the corporate name, "Fox Film 
Corporation." Years later this name was changed to "Twen- 
tieth Century-Fox Film Corporation." 

Since its beginning, this company has had several out- 
standing periods. The first such period was, of course, its 
first year, because of the success that Theda Bara had made; 
the second was when it brought out Tom Mix, and later 
when it acquired the services of William Farnum, develop- 
ing them into the biggest stars of those days; the third was 
when in 1926 Winfield Shechan, relinquishing his home- 
office duties as general manager of distribution, went to the 
Coast and took charge of production — he produced such 
outstanding box-office successes as, "Seventh Heaven," 
"What Price Glory," "Sunny Side Up," "The Cock-Eyed 
World" and others, and developed such stars as Shirley 
Temple, Will Rogers and Janet Gaynor; the fourth was 
when in 1935 Sidney Kent induced Darryl Zanuck and 
Joseph Schenck, owners of "Twentieth Century," to amal- 
gamate with the Fox Film Corporation; the fifth period was 
when Spyros Skouras, an experienced theatre operator, be- 
came president of the company. There have been other 
lesser periods. 

The company made progress when Messrs. Zanuck and 
Schenck affiliated themselves with the Fox Film Corpora- 
tion, but because there was lack of harmony between the 
Coast and the Home Office, their efforts were neutralized. As 
a result, the quality of the product deteriorated. 

Real progress was not made until after Mr. Skouras be- 
came president of the company. With his finished diplomacy 
and native ability as a pacifier, Mr. Skouras was soon able 
to charm everybody, East and West, bringing harmony into 
the company's ranks, and whole-hearted cooperation be- 
tween the producing and the selling organizations. 

When I speak of Mr. Skouras' diplomacy and native 
ability as a pacifier, I speak from knowledge, for I had the 
opportunity of observing him from close quarters when he 
organized the Greek War Relief Association and drafted me 



to act as publicity director of it. As president jf the Associa- 
tion, Mr. Skouras 60 inspired his co-workers that, in six 
months' time, the Association was able to collect six million 
dollars in cash, at a cost of 2.7% (two dollars and seventy 
cents for every one hundred dollars collected), the lowest 
that has ever been attained in the history of relief organiza- 
tions in this country. In addition to this money, the Associa- 
tion received food, clothing and medical supplies worth four 
million dollars, donated by the Red Cross and by other relief 
agencies. The motion picture industry itself contributed 
more than one million dollars. Without Mr. Skouras' tire- 
lessness and generosity, the Association would not, in my 
opinion, have attained such results. 

What the progress of Twentieth Century-Fox has been 
from the time Mr. Skouras became its president imy be 
judged by the fact that, before he took charge, the company 
operated either at a loss or at a very small profit. When he 
became president, the company's stock was quoted in the 
stock market at about $9 per share, whereas now it is 
quoted at about $27 per share. 

The company has announced that it is going to celebrate 
its 30th Anniversary with a string of big money-making 
pictures. 

The writer takes pleasure in wishing Messrs. Skouras, 
Schenck, Zanuck, Tom Connors (the efficient head of world 
wide distribution for the company), and all their co-woikcrs 
a continued success, for he feels that the success of a com- 
pany in producing money-making picturts means prosperity 
for the exhibitors. 



"Tarzan and the Amazons" with 
Johnny Weissmuller 

(RKO, no release date set, time, 7o mm.) 

Just moderately entertaining program fare, best suited for 
the juvenile trade. It is similar in content to the previous 
"Tarzan" pictures but, by comparison, is below par for the 
series. The story is thin and far-fetched, and it offers little 
to hold one's attention. The youngsters, however, should 
find it exciting, for the lives of the leading characters are 
endangered from time to time. As usual, most of the comedy 
is provoked by the antics of Cheta, the chimpanzee. Johnny 
Weissmuller, as Tarzan, and Johnny Sheffield, as Boy, his 
son, perform acceptably considering the weak material they 
had to work with: — 

Journeying to a jungle trading post to welcome back his 
wife, Jane (Brenda Joyce), from a London visit, Tarzan, 
accompanied by Boy, rescue from a savage panther a run- 
away girl from a tribe of Amazon women. Tarzan takes the 
girl back to the tribe's secret village, where no man but he 
was permitted to enter and leave; the Amazons feared that 
strangers would steal their golden treasures. At the trading 
post, Tarzan greets Jane and meets a group of English 
scientists. Through a gold bracelet that Cheta had taken 
from the runaway girl, the scientists learn of the Amazon 
tribe and urge Tarzan to lead them to their secret village. 
Tarzan, unwilling to break faith with the Amazons, refuses. 
The scientists, however, egged on by Barton MacLane, a 
greedy trader, induce Boy to lead them to the village, telling 
him that he will aid the cause of civilization. The Amazons 
capture the intruders, and their Queen (Maria Ouspenskaya ) 
sentences them to a life of slavery. Led by MacLane, the 
scientists try to escape, bearing some of the golden treasures. 
MacLane makes good his escape, but the others are killed. 
Boy is recaptured and sentenced to die. Meanwhile Tarzan, 
warned by Cheta, races to the village to rescue his son. En 
route, he encounters MacLane, who dies in an attempt to 
kill him. Tarzan arrives at the Amazons' village in time to 
convince the tribe that their secret was safe, thus gaining 
Boy's release. 

Hans Jacoby and Marjorie L. Pfaelzer wrote the screen 
play, Sol Lesser produced it, and Kurt Neumann directed it. 
The cast includes Henry Stephenson, J. M. Kerrigan, Shirley 
O'Hara, Steven Geray and others. 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 187S. 



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A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 

Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, MARCH 31, 1945 No. 13 



COLUMBIA AND THE RECORD 



As a tribute to General Sales Manager Abe Montague's 
twenty years with the company, Columbia has announced 
that it has named its annual sales drive the "Montague 
Twentieth Anniversary Campaign." 

The announcement states that, during the campaign, 
Columbia will offer the greatest product lineup in the com- 
pany's history, and tells with pride that the company has 
grown from a modest, humble position in the industry to one 
of distinction and importance, and that its many thousands 
of exhibitor friends are a source of pride. 

As a service to the subscribers of this paper, I should like 
to present some of the facts concerning the record Columbia 
has made for itself in recent years. 

But, first, I should like to set down the outstanding films 
Columbia promises to deliver during the current sales drive, 
which covers the fifteen week period from March 16 to 
June 28. They are: "Counter-Attack," with Paul Muni; 
"Over 21," with Irene Dunne; "A Thousand ond One 
Nights," with Cornel Wilde; and "The Fighting Guards- 
man." 

Let us now go back to Columbia's 1943-44 sales cam- 
paign, which was known as "Dates to Win." Here is what 
Columbia promised and what it failed to deliver. Promised 
for delivery during the period covered by the drive were 
"Cover Girl," "Curly" (released as "Once Upon a Time"), 
"Address Unknown," "Pilebuck" (released as "Secret Com- 
mand"), "Mr. Winkle Goes to War," "Road to Yesterday" 
(released as "Together Again"), "Tonight and Every 
Night," with Rita Hayworth, and a Kay Kyser musical 
("Carolina Blues"). Columbia failed to deliver during the 
campaign period "Secret Command," "Mr. Winkle Goes to 
War," and "Carolina Blues," but it did deliver these pictures 
later on in the season. In addition, it failed to deliver "To- 
gether Again" and "Tonight and Every Night," the two 
most important productions it promised, and, as you all 
know, it withheld these pictures from the 1943-44 contract- 
holders and placed them on the 1944-45 program. Thus we 
find that out of eight top productions promised for delivery 
during the "Dates to Win" campaign, only three were de- 
livered within the specified time, three at later dates, and 
two withheld. (Incidentally, such pictures as "Cover Girl," 
"What a Woman," and "Sahara," which were delivered 
during 1943-44, were withheld from the 1942-43 contract- 
holders.) 

Let us now take up Columbia's record of performances 
for the current season up to the present time: Most of you 
will recall that, when Columbia announced its program for 
1944-45, it changed its method of approach; that is, instead 
of making definite promises as to what pictures it would 
deliver, it listed its roster of players and story properties, 
and stated that its "program for 1944-45 will be selected 
from such personalities and material as are hereby listed, or 
from additional material acquired and produced during the 
year." 

In explaining this new method of approach, Columbia 
stated in the announcement that "the presentation is made in 



this form at this time in order that the company may remain 
elastic in its thinking, may make such changes as it believes 
to be in the best interests of an improved program, and 
consequently, in the best interests of the theatres served." 

Let us take a look at how this "elastic thinking" has 
worked out up to the present time. The only positive prom- 
ises Columbia made for its 1944-45 season were that it 
would produce 44 features (exclusive of westerns and 
shorts), and that twenty of these forty-four would be top- 
bracket films. The announcement called these twenty top- 
bracket pictures "the greatest number ever offered in a 
single year by Columbia . . . with a corresponding reduction 
in the number of B pictures." 

Thus far, Columbia has set for release a total of twenty- 



six pictures. These are the following: 

6002 Tonight and Every Night Feb. 22 

6003 Together Again Dec. 22 

6014 Eadie Was a Lady Jan. 23 

6016 Strange Affair Oct. 8 

6017 Crime Doctor's Courage Feb. 27 

6018 Rough, Tough and Ready Mar. 22 

6019 Leave It to Bio n die Feb. 22 

6021 Shadows in the Night Oct. 19 

6022 The Mark of the Whistler Nov. 2 

6023 The Power of the Whistler Apr. 19 

6024 I Love a Mystery Jan. 25 

6025 Tahiti Nights Dec. 28 

6026 Eve Knew Her Apples Apr. 12 

6028 Meet Miss Bobby Socks Oct. 12 

6032 She's a Sweetheart Dec. 7 

6033 Sergeant Mike Nov. 9 

6034 A Guy, a Gal, and a Pal Oct. 26 

6037 Escape in the Fog Apr. 5 

6038 Dancing in Manhattan Dec. 14 

6039 Let's Go Steady Jan. 4 

6040 The Missing Juror Nov. 16 

6041 Youth on Trial Jan. 11 

Counter-Attack Apr. 26 

Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion May 10 

The Fighting Guardsman May 24 



With twenty-six features released or already set for re- 
lease, there still remain eighteen pictures to complete the 
forty-four promised for the season. 

As said, Columbia has promised twenty top-bracket pic- 
tures. If you will examine the preceding release schedule, 
you will notice that only seven productions have been so far 
allocated to the top bracket of twenty. Of these, "Tonight 
and Every Night" and "Together Again" have been allo- 
cated rightly. The other five, "Eadie was a Lady," "Strange 
Affair," "Crime Doctor's Courage," "Rough, Tough, and 
Ready," and "Leave It to Blondie," are strictly program 
pictures, — not one of them is good enough to top a double 
bill. Yet we find them as part of the top bracket of twenty. 
Now, what will be the thirteen pictures still needed to round 
out the top twenty? 

(Continued on last page) 



50 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



March 31, 1945 



"The Affairs of Susan" with Joan Fontaine 
and George Brent 

(Paramount, no release date set; time, 109 min.) 
Audiences should enjoy many hearty laughs in 
this comedyfarce. The story is thin, but good direc- 
tion and the zestful acting of the players make it 
highly entertaining. Despite some slow stretches in 
the action, it holds one's attention well, has witty dia- 
logue, and maintains a note of high comedy from be- 
ginning to end. Joan Fontaine is particularly good as 
a comedienne. As the vivacious young woman with 
whom four men fall in love, she portrays three dis- 
tinctive personalities — an honest, naive woman; a 
frivolous, sophisticated play-girl; and an intellectual, 
unemotional woman, each personality depending on 
the temperament of the man with whom she was ro- 
mancing at the time. These romances are the cause for 
much laughter, particularly because one of the suitors 
is her former husband. Since one cannot guess which 
one of the suitors she will finally marry, one is held in 
suspense right to the end. The production values are 
good, and the clothes Miss Fontaine wears should de- 
light women patrons. 

In the development of the story, Walter Abel, a 
conservative Government official, falls in love with 
Joan, who accepts his proposal of marriage. When he 
learns that she had been divorced from George Brent, 
a Broadway producer, and that she had been engaged 
to Dennis O'Keefe, a serious author, and Don DeFore, 
a wealthy lumberman, Abel determines to find out 
the truth about his bride-to-be. He invites the three 
men to dinner and asks them to relate their experi- 
ences with Joan. In a series of flashbacks it is shown 
how Brent met Joan on a remote island off the New 
England coast. Her beauty and unworldliness had so 
intrigued him that he had made her a great stage star 
and had married her. But her inherent honesty and 
inability to lie had embarrassed him so often that it 
eventually led to their divorce. When she returned 
from Reno, she had met DeFore in Brent s office and, 
by deliberately behaving as a gay, glamorous woman, 
and by lying shamelessly, had induced him to back one 
of Brent's plays. Her bold actions, however, had 
proved too much for DeFore, causing him to break 
their engagement. She next met O'Keefe on a park 
bench, and had become so intrigued by his serious 
writings that siie took to wearing mannish clothes and 
assumed an intellectual air. But this romance soon 
came to an abrupt end when, after deliberately getting 
O'Keefe drunk to trick him into marrying her, her 
innate honesty had triumphed and she had let him 
alone. Their stories told, all three men realize their 
love for Joan and, with Abel following closely, make 
a dash for her apartment, where each pleads his case. 
Brent emerges victorious. 

Thomas Monroe, Laszlo Gorog, and Richard Flour- 
noy wrote the screen play, Hal B. Wallis produced it, 
and William Seiter directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"G.I. Honeymoon" with Gale Storm 
and Peter Cookson 

(Monogram, March 9; time, 70 min.) 
A fairly entertaining program comedy-farce; it is 
nonsensical and occasionally suggestive, but it is not 
offensive. The story deals with the frustrations of a 
soldier and his bride who, because of military orders 
and other incidents, find themselves unable to con- 



summate their marriage. Basically, the story idea is 
good, but it has been given a weak script and mediocre 
direction. The comedy is quite funny in spots, but 
much of it is pretty dull because of the obviously con- 
trived, trite farcical situations; yet they are of the 
sort that will probably draw hearty laughter from 
undiscriminating patrons. The pace is fast: — 

Just as Gale Storm and Lieut. Peter Cookson are 
married, he receives orders to report for duty imme- 
diately. Gale follows him and, on the train, flirts with 
Jerome Cowan, a gambler, and tricks him into ex- 
changing his drawing room for her upper berth. Her 
desire to be alone with her husband is frustrated when 
he is ordered to stand guard duty on the train all 
night. Arriving at their destination, Gale, through a 
series of coincidents, rents an apartment from 
Cowan, unaware that the building had been declared 
out of bounds by the army because he operated a 
gambling establishment. Gale unwittingly arranges 
a reception for her husband's fellow officers and his 
commanding Colonel, but, prior to their arrival, a 
group of soldiers come to the apartment in the belief 
that it was a gambling "joint." Gale, mistaking them 
for her husband's guests, entertains them. She realizes 
the truth when the officers and their wives begin to 
arrive, and manages to hide the soldiers in different 
parts of the apartment. Meanwhile Cowan, seeking 
revenge on Gale for tricking him on the train, notifies 
the military police that her apartment was filled with 
"brass hats," who were out of bounds. With the ar- 
rival of the police, Cookson 's irate Colonel orders his 
arrest. It all turns out for the best when Gale's aunt, 
arriving for a visit, proves to be an old girl-friend of 
the Colonel, and persuades him to release Cookson. 
Given a forty-eight hour pass for a belated honey- 
moon, Cookson finds himself frustrated once again 
when an announcement comes over the radio can- 
celling all leaves. 

Richard Weil, Jr., wrote the screen play, Lindsley 
Parsons produced it, and Phil Karlstcin directed it. 
The cast includes Arline Judge, Frank Jenks and 
others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"The Power of the Whistler" 
with Richard Dix 

(Columbia, April 19; time, 67 mm.) 
This third in the "Whistler" series of program 
psychological murder melodramas is decidedly in- 
ferior to the other two pictures. It lacks the suspense 
that was so predominant in the first two pictures, 
which were directed expertly by William Castle, and 
the story is so confusing and so illogical that one loses 
interest in the outcome. Moreover, it is unpleasant, 
for the leading character is a homicidal maniac whose 
actions throughout are far from pleasurable. Particu- 
larly distasteful are the closing scenes in which the 
heroine, to save herself, kills the maniac by stabbing 
him in the throat with a pitchfork. Although this 
killing is done in self-defense, one canont escape the 
feeling that it is coldblooded. There is no comedy 
relief : — 

Richard Dix, an escaped maniac from a mental in- 
stitution, suffers a temporary loss of memory when he 
is accidentally struck by a car. He wanders into a cafe, 
where Janis Carter, without his knowledge, tells his 
fortune with a deck of cards. The cards foretell death 
for him within twenty- four hours, and Janis warns 



March 31, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



51 



him of his danger. When he tells her that he had just 
suffered a loss of memory, Janis offers to help him. 
Through different papers found on his person, Janis 
institutes an unsuccessful investigation to learn his 
identity. She arranges to have him spend the night at 
her apartment, and persuades her sister (Jeff Don' 
nell) to help check a few more of the clues to his 
identity. On the following morning, Dix recovers his 
memory but does not mention it to Janis; he planned 
to use her in a scheme to murder the chief warden of 
the institution from which he had escaped. Pretending 
a partial recovery of his memory, Dix persuades Janis 
to accompany him to the town where the warden 
lived. Meanwhile Jeff, following up the clues to Dix's 
identity, discovers who he really is and learns of his 
scheme to murder the warden. She notifies the police 
and spurs them into action. Shortly after, Dix, driv- 
ing an automobile to the warden's home, is stopped by 
the police. He lies his way out of the situation, arous- 
ing Janis' suspicion. When she questions him, he re- 
veals his identity and reaches for a knife to kill her lest 
she foil his plans. She manages to wrench herself free, 
and flees for her life, Dix in pursuit. She reaches a 
barn and hides in the hay loft, but Dix, still wielding 
the knife, climbs up after her. To save herself, she 
picks up a pitchfork and stabs him to death. 

Aubrey wisberg wrote the screen play, Leonard S. 
Picker produced it, and Lew Landers directed it. 

Too morbid for children. 



"Eve Knew Her Apples" with Ann Miller 
and William Wright 

(Columbia, April 12; time, 64 min.) 
Just a moderately amusing program comedy. It has 
a few good comedy situations, but for the most part it 
is silly and may prove tiresome. An attempt has been 
made by the producers to imitate "It Happened One 
Night," but the results are feeble. There are no novel 
twists in the plot; it unfolds in just the manner one 
expects. Ann Miller sings a few songs of the popular 
variety, which come as a welcome relief from the 
story's tediousness. She does not, however, do any 
dancing; this is unfortunate, for had she danced it 
would have undoubtedly bolstered the entertainment 
values:- — 

Ann Miller, a singing radio star, is followed to a 
summer resort by Ray Walker, her manager, who 
objected to her taking a vacation; he wanted her to 
continue working and to sign a motion picture con- 
tract. To escape Walker, Ann hides in an old auto- 
mobile owned by William Wright, a reporter. Shortly 
after, Wright's car is stopped by the police, who were 
searching for an escaped murderess. Later, when 
Wright discovers Ann, he believes her to be the mur- 
deress. He contacts his editor and promises a scoop. 
Meanwhile Walker and John Eldredge, Ann's weal- 
thy fiance, had offered a $5000 reward to the person 
finding her. Wright eventually learns of her identity 
and of her reasons for hiding out. Both fall in love 
and decide to marry. Wright leaves her at a farm and 
goes to his newspaper office, where he files a story 
about his forthcoming marriage to her. While he is 
gone, a farmer discovers Ann and reports her where- 
abouts to her fiance, who drives out and picks her up. 
Believing that Wright had deserted her, and that he 
had revealed her presence on the farm to collect the 
reward money, Ann determines to marry Eldredge 
immediately. Wright, learning that she had been 



found, and that she planned to marry Eldredge, as- 
sumes that she had played him for a fool. Angered, he 
notifies Walker that he was coming to his office to put 
in a claim for money. Ann becomes even more infuri- 
ated when she learns of this, but when Wright claims 
only $35 for expenses incurred while aiding her, Ann 
realizes the truth and reunites with him. 

E. Edwin Moran wrote the screen play, Wallace 
MacDonald produced it, and Will Jason directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"The Corn Is Green" with Bette Davis 
and John Dall 

(Warner Bros., no release date set; time, 114 min.) 

An excellent dramatic entertainment, finely pro- 
duced. It is a good combination of a human interest 
story and skillful characterizations, with intelligent 
and sensitive direction. Its appeal, however, will be 
mainly to high class audiences; as far as the masses 
are concerned, although there is human interest in 
the story, it is too wordy, and since there is little 
action, many patrons may become fidgety. Moreover, 
the atmosphere is heavy and there is little comedy 
relief. Bette Davis does artistic work as the middle- 
aged London schoolteacher, who comes to a poor 
Welsh mining town with a determination to bring the 
benefits of education to illiterate boys. She is at all 
times a sympathetic character, because of her self- 
sacrificing efforts to help the underprivileged. It is a 
drama of courage and faith, with many situations 
that will stir the emotions. Although its chief appeal 
will be to the classes, Bette Davis' popularity, and the 
fact that the story had been adapted from a famous 
stage play, should help to draw the rank and file : — 

Arriving in the mining town to take up residence 
in a house she had recently inherited, Miss Davis is 
appalled by the ignorance and poverty of the inhabi- 
tants, who sent their twelve-year-old children to work 
in the mines. She launches an educational program to 
stamp out illiteracy, but her efforts are sabotaged by 
the local squire (Nigel Bruce) , who feared that edu- 
cated youngsters would be to his economic dis- 
advantage. Undaunted, Miss Davis turns her home 
into a school and employs, at her own expense, two 
assistant teachers. When she discovers among her 
pupils John Dall, a gifted young miner, she deter- 
mines to make something of him in the hope that he 
will one day lead his people. In two years, Dall pro- 
gresses so rapidly that Miss Davis prepares him for 
an Oxford scholarship. But the boy, rebelling against 
her constant driving, gets drunk one evening and has 
an affair with Joan Lorring, disreputable daughter of 
Miss Davis' cockney housekeeper. Months later, when 
Miss Davis learns of Joan's pregnancy, she bribes the 
girl to keep the news from Dall lest it interfere with 
his examinations. Dall wins the scholarship, but, 
when he learns that Joan had borne his illegitimate 
son, he insists upon marrying her and returning to 
the mines. Violently opposed to his giving up his bril- 
liant future to live with Joan, who neither loved Dall 
nor wanted the child, Miss Davis solves the problem 
by adopting the baby. Grateful, Dall goes on to 
Oxford. 

Casey Robinson and Frank Cavett wrote the screen 
play, Jack Chertok produced it, and Irving Rapper 
directed it. The cast includes Rhys Williams, Rosa- 
lind Ivan, Mildred Dunnock and others. 

Adult entertainment. 



52 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



March 31, 1945 



Assuming that Columbia will deliver "Over 21," "The 
Fighting Guardsman," "Counter- Attack," and "A Thou- 
sand and One Nights," the four top bracket pictures prom- 
ised for delivery during the current sales drive, and assum- 
ing also that they will be placed in the top brackets, there 
will be left nine pictures to complete the top bracket twenty. 

Let us see what Columbia has to offer from among its 
properties, and which of these properties are in production, 
so that we may contemplate delivery this season. 

From the information that I have been able to gather, the 
following pictures have been completed but have not yet 
been set for release: "Ten Cents a Dance," "Blonde from 
Brooklyn," and "Surprise in the Night." All three are of 
program grade. The only picture now in production (other 
than "Over 21") is "Kiss and Tell"; but whether this top 
picture will be delivered to the 1944-45 contract-holders 
depends on how "elastic" Columbia remains in its thinking. 
Columbia has announced plans for the production of "Some 
Call It Love," starring Rosalind Russell, but shooting has 
not yet been started. Nor has anything been done about such 
properties as "Jacobowsky and the Colonel," "Burlesque," 
"April Showers," or "Chatauqua." All these were among 
the outstanding properties from which Columbia stated it 
would select its 1944-45 program. When Columbia an- 
nounces its 1945-46 program within the next few months, 
this writer will not be surprised to find these properties listed 
among those of the new season; it is an old Columbia prac- 
tice to remove properties from one season and dangle them 
as bait for prospective new-season customers. 

Thus we find that "Kiss and Tell" is the only top-bracket 
picture now in production, but since Columbia has made 
no announcement that it will release it this season, Har- 
rison's Reports ventures to say that, on the basis of Colum- 
bia's past performances, it will probably be withheld from 
the 1944-45 contract-holders, and offered for delivery in the 
1945-46 season. And if "Kiss and Tell" should turn out to 
be an outstanding production, there is a possibility that Co- 
lumbia will give it the "Song to Remember" treatment; that 
is, sell the picture separate and apart from any program, 
taking it away from such exhibitors as are entitled to it. 

Since there are no other top-bracket pictures in produc- 
tion, and since those that are already completed are strictly 
of program grade, the question of what pictures will even- 
tually be allocated to complete the top bracket of twenty is 
indeed pertinent. It is so pertinent, in fact, that Columbia 
owes it to its "thousands of exhibitor friends" to furnish an 
answer. And unless such an answer is given, every exhibitor 
has the right to ask whether Columbia will pursue the tac- 
tics it employed in previous years, and is still employing in 
the current season — that of allocating pictures of lesser value 
to the high film rental brackets, subjecting the exhibitors to 
loss of revenue. 

Examine the release schedule once more to see the type 
of pictures that have been given allocation numbers 6014, 
6016, 6017, 6018, and 6019: not one is worthy of topping 
a double bill; yet they comprise part of the top twenty. 

Other than "Tonight and Every Night" and "Together 
Again," the quality of Columbia's product thus far this 
season has ben mediocre, with the exception of one or two 
program pictures, which were no more than fair. But, in 
fairness, it should be said that the majority of the product 
has been no worse than that of some of the other companies. 

Here is again an opportunity for Columbia to redeem it- 
self in the eyes of the exhibitors, and really to pay a tribute 
to Abe Montague, its general sales manager, in whose honor 
the current sales drive has been named. With but a few 
more months left of the 1944-45 season, Columbia should 
have a pretty good idea of what productions it hopes to have 
completed, and to which brackets it intends to allocate these 
pictures. It should make clear its intentions to its customers, 
and, if the prdouct that will be available is not of the quality 



that will justify allocation in the higher brackets, it should 
honestly offer to make proper adjustments. Once Columbia 
makes up its mind to stop playing the game of "cat and 
mouse," I have no doubt that the independent exhibitors will 
give it their full support. But until Columbia learns to deal 
in a forthright manner, no exhibitor can be blamed for be- 
ing wary about making a deal with its representatives. 

Columbia's past has been so inglorious that it would re- 
quire many more columns to give you all the facts. I have 
repeatedly called the attention of these injustices to the 
Columbia executives with the hope that they would reform, 
treating the exhibitors in a fair way, but I have not suc- 
ceeded. And I have grown tired of dealing with their in- 
justices in these columns so frequently. But regardless of 
my personal feelings, I believe that these are facts that you 
are entitled to know, for it is thus that you can protect your 
interests. 



ARE THE LUSH TIMES OVER? 

A drop of $7,000,000 in theatre admission tax collections 
in December as compared with the collections in November, 
as disclosed by the Internal Revenue Department, is indica- 
tive of the condition that many exhibitors have long been 
proclaiming — that the increased receipts were due, not to 
increased attendance, but to the increase in the price of ad- 
missions. 

Though when the new admission tax schedules were put 
into effect the tax collections almost doubled up, many ex- 
hibitor leaders felt that the receipts would eventually suffer 
because of the new tax rates. They had the same effect as if 
the prices of admission themselves were increased, for the 
public does not, as a rule, stop to analyze where the increase 
goes; the picture patron knows only one thing — he is asked 
to pay more. 

If the drop in admission tax revenue continues, the ex- 
hibitor organizations should at once plan a campaign to call 
this condition to the attention of Congress, with the object 
in view of inducing it to reduce the taxes to where they 
were last April. The exhibitors should tell their Congress- 
men that the effect of the increased taxes was to reduce the 
theatre receipts without benefitting the Government. Even 
if the tax receipts should not drop to exactly what they were 
before the new rates went into effect, Congress should be 
told that the difference is more than offset by the loss of 
revenue from personal income taxes. In other words, though 
the revenue from amusement admissions may remain slightly 
higher than it was before the new rates went into effect, the 
portion that the Government will receive will in the long 
run be smaller because the owners of the amusement places, 
hit by a reduction in theatre receipts, will pay less income 
tax. 



THE HONEYMOON IS OVER 

The growing print shortage, the approaching end of the 
European war, and the need for a more flexible position in 
order to liquidate their 250 million dollars worth of stored 
films, is the No. 1 problem of the distributors, states a recent 
bulletin of the ITO of Northern California. 

"They (the distributors)," continues the bulletin, "won't 
admit that the honeymoon is over, but exhibitors know it 
and unless they curb their film rentals to conform with the 
shrinking grosses they will be behind the 8-ball. Shrinking 
grosses will mean shrinking film rentals and the producers 
will get less revenue for pictures produced at a greater cost. 
This time it will not do them any good to cry 'we have to 
have more money for these pictures because they cost us so 
much." Remember when they cried, 'We must have more 
money because we have lost all our foreign trade." The ex- 
hibitors were suckers once but will not be again. With a live 
and let live program they would not have been caught with 
a large inventory." 



IN TWO SECTIONS— SECTION ONE 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 

Harrison's Reports 

Yearly Subscription Rates: 1270 SIXTH AVENUE Published Weekly by 

United States $15.00 Rnnm 1812 Harrison's Reports, Inc., 

U. S. Insular Possessions. 16.50 ftoom ioi£ Publisher 

Canada 16.50 New York 20, N. Y. P. S. HARRISON, Editor 

Mexico, Cuba, Spain 16.50 . _. . _ , . „ 

frpatRHKin 15 7<> A Motion Picture Reviewing Service 

Australia New" Zealand' Devoted Chiefly to the Interests of the Exhibitors Established July 1, 1919 

India, Europe, Asia .... 17.50 m Editoria , Po i icT: No Prob iem Too Big for Its Editorial Circle 7-4622 

ibc a copy Columns, if It is to Benefit the Exhibitor. 

A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 
Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 1945 No. 14 



An Opportunity for the War Activities Committee 



Numerous letters from exhibitors all over the country 
have been reaching my desk commenting on the editorial, 
"Public Relations and the War Activities Committee," 
which appeared in the March 24 issue of this paper. Typical 
of the comments made is the following letter from Mr. R. W. 
Wood, president of the Circle Theatre Company, in Port' 
land, Oregon: 

"I have just read your article in the issue of March 24 
on 'Public Relations and the WAC,' and how true it is! 

"It seems rather strange that after all the efforts we and 
the other theatres throughout the nation have given to the 
progress of the war that the theatres should be treated as 
joints. 

"As you probably know we have had a policy of being 
open until 4 A.M., each day for the past 26 years. With the 
senseless curfew it has affected business here 30%, which 
also affects bond buying and reduces tax money to the 
Federal Treasury in no small degree. 

"We have taken part in all the Government drives from 
the very start. 

"You probably know you have left one important item 
out of your list of five mentioned, that last year, throughout 
the nation over 17,000 free movie days were given in sup- 
port of bond drives — the theatres paying all expenses. 

"Your article hit the nail on the head and I hope it may 
have some effect on those who know nothing about con- 
ditions out here on the Coast, where we don't use coal and 
have no manpower shortage." 

Mr. Wood raises a sound argument when he says that 
"the senseless curfew . . . affects bond buying and reduces 
tax money to the Federal Treasury." As a matter of fact, 
it is one of the strongest arguments the War Activities 
Committee could use in an effort to induce the Government 
to rescind the curfew order insofar as it affects the nation's 
motion picture theatres. Thousands of these theatres sell 
bonds during, not only the loan drives, but also every other 
day in the year. Because of the convenience, many persons 
have bought their bonds at theatres only. But a large part 
of them, now that the theatres' box-offices close too early 
to suit their time of liesure, neither attend the theatres nor 
buy bonds. Thus the Government loses out in three ways — 
bond sales, admission taxes, and income taxes from theatre 
operations. 

The other exhibitors who have written me, as well as 
Mr. Wood, make particular mention of the fact that the 
Government seemingly lacks consideration of the work the 
motion picture theatres have done and still are doing for the 
war effort. 

The fault lies, not with the Government, but with the 
industry's War Activities Committee, which, as it has al- 
ready been said in these columns, is the ideal agency for the 
handling of the industry's public relations during war-time, 
since its members represent every branch of the industry. 
Unfortunately, the WAC has not functioned as a truly 
representative body; its affairs have been run by a small 
clique, which has usurped the powers of the different com- 
mittees that make up the organization. Though the mem- 



bers of these committees represent many industry organi- 
zations, they are, in reality, mere window-dressing. On more 
than one occasion has it been brought to my attention that 
many members of these committees were neither consulted 
nor advised in regard to matters that affected the industry 
as a whole. The decisions were made privately by the ruling 
clique, Brandt, Fabian, Harmon. 

If something is to be done about the curfew, or about 
any other Government ruling, for that matter, the plan of 
procedure should not be decided by a handful of men. Con- 
sider, for instance, the case of Mr. Woods' Circle Theatre, 
in Portland. In his particular territory there is neither a 
shortage of coal nor of manpower. Why, then, should Mr. 
Wood be made to close his theatre at midnight? In other 
territories similar conditions may exist, causing exhibitors 
to undergo unnecessary hardships as a result of a blanket 
ruling by the Government. How can a handful of men, un- 
familiar with conditions in film territories other than their 
own — conditions such as are described by Mr. Wood, take 
it upon themselves to act for the exhibitors of those terri- 
tories? By proper representation, it may be possible to in- 
duce the Government to relax its rulings in areas where 
there is an absence of the conditions that brought on the 
rulings. And no fair-minded exhibitor in a "stricken" area 
would object to such a procedure, since the imposition of 
unnecessary hardships on his fellow-exhibitors will not 
alleviate his own hardships. 

The solution of the public relations problem will come 
about only when the War Activities Committee makes up 
its mind to act as a body, and to enlist the support and in- 
fluence of every exhibitor to induce the Government to 
modify rulings that work a hardship on the business with- 
out in any way helping the war effort. 

Here is a chance for the War Activities Committee to 
drop politics and to render a real service to the motion 
picture industry as a whole. 

* * * 

From Martin Smith, president of National Allied: 

"I have just finished reading your editorial 'Public Rela- 
tions and the War Activities Committee' as it appeared in 
your Reports of March 24th. 

"Please accept my heartiest congratulations on not only 
grasping the significance of the situation but also in carry- 
ing your views in the Reports." 

From Sidney E. Samuelson, general manager of the 
Allied Independent Theatre Owners of Eastern Pennsyl- 
vania: 

"Compliments and congratulations on your splendid, 
fearless editorial on 'Public Relations and the War Activi- 
ties Committee.' 

"Is it too much to hope that some one of the so-called 
big executives of the industry will heed your warning and 
take action, thereby preventing untold future grief? I hope 
so, but I doubt it." 

Lack of space prevents my reproducing other such letters, 
from independent exhibitors, but the preceding two should 
give you a clear idea of how they feel about this question. 



54 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



April 7, 1945 



"The Silver Fleet" with Ralph Richardson 
and Googie Withers 

(PRC, June 15; time, 77 mm.) 
Good program fare. Based on the underground resistance 
theme, this British-made melodrama ranks with the better 
pictures of its type. The story, which has its locale in Hol- 
land, is intriguing and, without resorting to sensational 
melodramatics, the action maintains a steady undercurrent 
of excitement and suspense from start to finish, owing to 
the constant danger to the hero, who pretends collaboration 
with the Nazis in order to gain their confidence. The plot 
differs from the usual story of its type in that the hero aids 
his fellow-patriots to commit acts of sabotage without re- 
vealing his identity, even permitting them, as well as his 
wife, to think of him as a "Quisling." The acting of the 
entire cast, particularly Ralph Richardson, is impressive: — 

Richardson, head of a Dutch shipbuilding yard, is "re- 
quested" by the Nazis to continue its management when 
they occupy Holland. Sensing an opportunity to be of 
service to his country, Richardson feigns collaboration with 
the Nazis, winning their confidence. He uses his position 
to gain valuable information about trial runs on a com- 
pleted submarine and, without revealing his identity, sends 
instructions to a group of Dutch patriots, enabling them 
to overpower the Nazi crew and to sail the submarine to 
England. Meanwhile the unsuspecting patriots, as well as 
his wile (Googic Withers), treats him as a "Quisling." But 
he does not reveal to them his true work lest one of them 
unwittingly interfere with his sabotage plans. Upon com- 
pletion of the second submarine, Richardson finds that its 
sabotage presents a difficult problem because of the Nazis' 
refusal to allow a Dutchman on board during the trial runs. 
Cleverly playing his hand, Richardson, as a reward for his 
cooperation, secures an invitation to accompany a party of 
important Nazi officials on the trials. All, including Rich- 
ardson, lose their lives when the submarine submerges and, 
through mechanism installed secretly by Richardson, ex- 
plodes. At home, Richardson's diary reveals to his wife his 
great courage and sacrifice. 

Vernon C. Sewell and Gordon Wellesley wrote the 
screen play and directed it. Michael Powell and Emeric 
Pressburgcr produced it. The cast includes Esmond Knight, 
Beresford Egan and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"The Phantom of 42nd Street" with 
Dave O'Brien and Kay Aldridge 

(PRC, May 2; time, 58 min.) 

Just moderately interesting program fare. It is a murder 
mystery melodrama, with comedy, differing little in quality 
from the usual run of such low-budgeted pictures. The story 
is somewhat trite, and its treatment is so routine that one 
finds his interest in the proceedings lagging. It may, how- 
ever, prove acceptable to the ardent, undiscriminating fol' 
lowers of this type of entertainment, for some of the situa- 
tions are suspenseful. Frank Jenks, as a taxi driver, handles 
most of the comedy, but little of it is effective. In general, 
the acting is unimpressive: — 

Dave O'Brien, a dramatic critic covering the theatrical 
debut of Kay Aldridge, daughter of Alan Mowbray, a noted 
actor, neglects to telephone his editor when Mowbray's 
millionaire brother is murdered mysteriously during the in- 
termission. Scoffed at by the editor, O'Brien determines to 
prove that he is a good newspaperman by solving the crime. 
He becomes friendly with Kay and learns from her that she 
was worried about her father's safety, because a strange 
woman had been lurking near her home. The murder of a 
watchman who had worked with Mowbray twenty-five years 
previously convinces O'Brien that Mowbray's old Reper- 
tory Company held the solution to the crimes. He investi- 
gates the woman (Edythe Elliott) who had been lurking 



about Mowbray's home and discovers that 6he was Kay's 
mother, whom the girl thought was dead. He learns from 
Miss Elliott that, as the Repertory Company's ingenue, she 
had loved Stanley Price, an actor, but had married Mowbray 
when Price disappeared. Mowbray's murdered brother, too, 
wanted to marry her. After Kay's birth, she had divorced 
Mowbray to marry Price. Eventually, she divorced Price, 
and the last she heard of him was that he had died in an 
asylum. The murder of another former member of the Re- 
pertory Company, as well as a few attempts on his own life, 
spur O'Brien into action. With the cooperation of the police 
and Mowbray, he arranges for a benefit performance of 
Julius Caesar, in order that Mowbray, as Caesar, could be 
used as a target by the murderer during the part when Brutus 
stabs him. The scheme proves successful, enabling O'Brien 
to uncover the theatre's stage manager as the killer, who 
turns out to be Price in disguise. O'Brien proves that Price 
sought revenge on Mowbray's entire, family, because he felt 
they were responsible for his broken marriage to Miss Elliott. 

Milton Raison wrote the screen play, and Albert Herman 
directed it. Mr. Herm an and Martin Mooncy were the asso- 
ciate producers. The cast includes Jack Mulhall and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Two O'Clock Courage" with Tom Conway 
and Ann Rutherford 

(RKO. no release date set; time, 66 min.) 
A fairly good program murder mystery melodrama. The 
story is neither novel nor logical, but it holds one's atten- 
tion well and keeps one guessing as to the murderer's identity. 
Since the hero is an amnesia victim, who learns that he had 
been involved in the murder but does not know if he had 
committed the crime, the interest is heightened by his efforts 
to establish his identity and to solve the murder. It has 
effective comedy, too, with most of the laughter provoked 
by Richard Lane, as an over-zealous reporter, who con- 
stantly finds himself in trouble with his editor; every time 
he report* a solution to the crime, a new development 
upsets his story: — 

Suffering a loss of memory because of a blow on the 
head, Tom Conway is found staggering on the street by 
Ann Rutherford, a girl taxi driver. She tends to his wound 
and offers to help him find out who he is. On their way to 
a police station, they hear a newsboy shouting about the 
murder of a local theatrical producer and, to their horror, 
find that Conway fitted the description of the dead man's 
chauffeur, who was suspected of the crime. Ann, refusing 
to believe him guilty, offers to help him investigate. They 
visit the chauffeur's rooming house, where the landlady, 
greeting Conway as a stranger, satisfies him that he was 
not the missing man. Following the clue of a matchbook 
found in his pocket, Conway goes to a fashionable night- 
club, where he is recognized by Jean Brooks, an actress; 
Lester Matthews, a playwright; and Roland Drew, Jean's 
wealthy fiance. By adroit questioning, Conway learns his 
name and discovers that he had quarreled with the producer 
on the night of the murder about a play written by a friend. 
He enters the dead man's home to search for the script only 
to be knocked unconscious by an unseen assailant. The 
blow restores his memory, and he recalls that he had ac- 
cused the producer and Matthews of stealing his friend's 
play. Subsequent events lead Conway to suspect Matthews 
of the crime, but the mystery is cleared up when Jean kills 
the playwright. She confesses that she had murdered the 
producer because he threatened to reveal their love affair 
to her fiance, and that she had killed Matthews because he, 
too, knew of her past. His innocence proved, Conway mar- 
ries Ann. 

Robert E. Kent wrote the screen play, Ben Stoloff pre 
duced it, and Anthony Mann directed it. The cast includes 
Bette Jane Greer, Emory Parnell and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



April 7, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



55 



"China's Little Devils" with Harry Carey 
and Paul Kelly 

(Monogram, April 27; time, 74 min.) 

This fanciful war melodrama may get by as a supporting 
feature in secondary houses, but as entertainment it will 
appeal chiefly to the juvenile trade; adults may find it all 
too far-fetched. The action revolves mainly around a small 
band of Chinese refugee children, who commit totally un- 
believable acts of sabotage against the Jap military in occu' 
pied China, effect miraculous rescues of prisoners with the 
greatest of ease, and in other ways make complete monkeys 
of the Japs, even when it comes to battling it out with fire 
arms. The Chinese youngsters are appealing and their per- 
formances are good, but one cannot help feeling as though 
he were watching a school play. Not much can be said for 
the direction: — 

Paul Kelly, a Flying Tiger, lands his plane in the ruins of 
a Chinese village, where he finds Ducky L. Louie, a Chinese 
boy, wounded and orphaned by the war. The Flying Tigers 
adopt the boy and teach him commando tactics. But a few 
years later they decide that he needs an education, and they 
send him to a missionary school operated under the neutral 
American flag by Harry Carey, a kindly doctor. There, 
Ducky organizes and trains the other refugee children in 
commando tactics and, despite Carey's pleas, they steal out 
at night to prey on the Japanese. During one of their ex- 
ploits, two of the youngsters are taken prisoners while blow- 
ing up a supply base. Carey pleads with the Japanese com- 
mandant to release the lads, only to be told that he himself 
was now a prisoner, because Japan had just declared war 
against the United States. Through a scheme devised by 
Ducky, the doctor is rescued by the children and taken to 
the hills. A few days later, Kelly's plane crashes in the 
vicinity and he is taken prisoner by the Japs. The youngsters, 
however, through Ducky's ingenuity, rescue him. After 
treating Kelly's wounds, they take him to a river to help 
him get back to the Chinese lines. A Japanese patrol con- 
verges on them in an effort to capture Kelly, but the children 
and Carey help him to escape, sacrificing their lives as they 
shoot it out with the Japs. 

William Hanley and Grant Withers wrote the screen 
play and produced it, and Monta Bell directed it. The cast 
includes Philip Ahn, Richard Loo and others. 

"The Scarlet Clue" with Sidney Toler 
and Manton Moreland 

(Monogram, April 20; time, 64 min.) 

While this may appeal to the followers of the "Charlie 
Chan" murder mystery melodramas, it is not up to the 
standard of the other pictures in the series, in that the action 
is slow and the mystery of the murders is not as absorbing. 
Moreover, most of the acting is stilted and, since the out- 
come is obvious, it holds the spectator in just fair suspense. 
The comedy, with the exception of a very amusing bit be- 
tween Manton Moreland and Ben Carter, is not impressive. 
On the whole, the picture leaves one with the feeling that 
the producers are having a difficult time finding story ma- 
terial with which to continue the series: — 

While investigating a spy plot to steal secret radar plans, 
Government Agent Charlie Chan (Sidney Toler) learns that 
the head of the spy ring was unknown even to his confed- 
erates. Chan traces the murder of one of the spies to Helen 
Devereaux, a radio actress, with whom the murdered man 
had been out on a date. Virginia Brissac, sponsor of Helen's 
radio show, openly resented Chan's interference with re- 
hearsals in order to carry on his investigation. Shortly after, 
Janet Shaw, another actress, is killed by a mysterious gas in 
a crowded studio. Unknown to Chan, Janet had discovered 
that the station's manager (I. Stanford Jolley) was a spy, 
and she had tried to blackmail him. Later, when Chan's sus- 
picions fall on Jolley, the mysterious spy leader lures him to 
his death by springing a trap door in an elevator. To snare 



the leader, Chan leaves the safe in a radar laboratory un- 
guarded. Subsequent events lead to the murder of Jack 
Norton, another radio actor, and help Chan to discover that 
the murders were caused by an ingenious device that had 
been hidden in the studio microphones and which emitted 
an invisible gas. As a result of this discovery, Chan, aided 
by Benson Fong, his son, and Manton Moreland, his chauf- 
feur, is enabled to track down the spy leader, who turns out 
to be Miss Brissac, the radio sponsor. She falls into her own 
elevator death trap in an attempt to escape arrest. 

George Callahan wrote the screen play, James S. Burkett 
produced it, and Phil Rosen directed it. The cast includes 
Robert Homans and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Identity Unknown" with Richard Arlen 
and Cheryl Walker 

(Republic, April 2; time, 71 min.) 

A fine topical drama, well directed and capably acted. 
Revolving around a returning soldier, stricken with amnesia, 
who endeavors to establish his identity, the story is novel, " 
has deep human interest, touches of sadness, and a pleasing 
romance. It has considerable suspense, too, for the action 
takes the soldier to four homes, in different parts of the 
country, and neither he nor the spectator knows which one 
of the families may welcome him as their own. The picture 
should appeal to most audiences because of the deep sym- 
pathy they will feel for the hero, who, despite his own bitter 
disappointments, understandingly gives aid and comfort to 
those who had lost loved ones. Richard Arlen, as the soldier, 
gives a very good account of himself, as do the other mem- 
bers of the cast: — 

Suffering from a total loss of memory, Arlen, learns that 
his identity was unknown to the army, because, at the time 
he and four other soldiers were bombed in an isolated French 
farmhouse, his dog-tag had been blown off. He learns also 
that he was the sole survivor, and that four dog-tags had 
been found in the debris. His commandant (Ian Keith) felt 
sure that one of the tags bore his name and, pending an 
investigation, he hands Arlen a list of the names to mull 
over. Determined to identify himself, Arlen decides to visit 
the homes of his dead buddies, and goes A.W.O.L. from a 
troop train. He first stops at the home of Cheryl Walker, 
who lost her husband. He discovers immediately that he was 
not her husband. After he explains, Cheryl invites him to 
stay at her home for a few days. Both fall in love, and he 
leaves her with a determination to establish his identity; he 
wanted to marry her, but had to be sure that no other 
woman was waiting for him. His next stop is a home in 
West Virginia, where Bobby Driscoll, a six-year-old boy, 
welcomes him as "Daddy." But Arlen soon learns that the 
boy was mistaken, and he leaves for Chicago, the next stop. 
There, in a dingy saloon, he meets John Forrest, younger 
brother of one of the dead soldiers, who was involved with 
a gambling syndicate. Satisfied that he was not the boy's 
brother, Arlen, after helping the young man to rehabilitate 
himself, heads for the last address, an Iowa farm, confident 
that it must be his home. But when Arlen arrives there, he 
soon learns that the elderly farm couple (Sara Padden and 
Forrest Taylor) were not his folks. He helps the downcast 
couple to adjust their lives and, shortly after, as he drives 
to the railroad station to meet Cheryl, he is picked up by 
military police and taken back to camp. During his absence, 
the army had learned his identity and, through applied psy- 
chology, help him recollect that, in civilian life, he had been 
a college professor. His amnesia gone, Arlen joyfully reunites 
with Cheryl. 

Richard Weil wrote the screen play, and Walter Colmes 
directed it. Mr. Colmes and Howard Bretherton were the 
associate producers. The cast includes Lola Lane, Harry 
Tyler, Roger Pryor and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



56 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



April 7, 1945 



"Counter-Attack" with Paul Muni 
and Marguerite Chapman 

(Columbia, April 26; time, 90 min.) 
Well directed and expertly acted, this is a tense war melo- 
drama, suitable mostly for those who enjoy heavy dramatic 
entertainment. Most of the action takes place in the cellar 
of a collapsed building, where Paul Muni, a Russian para- 
trooper, finds himself trapped with a group of Nazi soldiers 
whom he disarms and holds at bay. Though slow-moving, 
the story is filled with considerable suspense as Muni, fight- 
ing weariness, engages in a battle of wits with his prisoners 
in an effort to secure vital information about German mili- 
tary movements. One is kept on edge throughout in the 
knowledge that the Germans will pounce upon Muni the 
moment sleep overcomes him. There is no comedy to relieve 
the tension, nor is there a romance: — 

Preparatory to a counter-attack by Russian troops, a 
detachment of Soviet paratroopers, including Muni, are 
ordered to launch a surprise attack on a German garrison 
for the purpose of capturing a German officer 60 as to 
secure information about the enemy's plans. In the assault, 
the patrol is wiped out except for Larry Parks, Marguerite 
Chapman, a guerrila fighter, and Muni, the last two be- 
coming trapped in the cellar of a demolished building with 
eight Nazi soldiers. Muni cows the Germans with a ma- 
chine gun, and manages to signal Parks, above the debris, 
sending him to the Russian lines for help. Although none 
of the Nazis wore an officer's uniform, Muni discovers evi- 
dence indicating that one was an officer but was hiding his 
identity. He questions each man relentlessly in an effort to 
identify the officer but they defiantly keep the information 
from him. The battle of wits resolves itself into an en- 
durance contest, with the Germans waiting for an oppor- 
tunity to overpower Muni the moment he drops from 
physical exhaustion. In an unguarded moment, the prisoners 
start a fight, wounding Marguerite, but Muni manages to 
subdue them. Then, by simulating the murder of two of 
the prisoners, he tricks the officer (Harro Mcller) into 
identifying himself. Mellcr, feeling sure that German troops 
will eventually come to his rescue, proposes to Muni that 
they exchange military information. Muni agrees, obtaining 
vital information at the expense of revealing the Russian 
plans. It all turns out for the best, however, when Russian 
troops come to his rescue just as he collapses. 

John Howard Lawson wrote the screen play, and Zoltan 
Korda directed it. The cast includes Phil Van Zandt, George 
Macready, Roman Bohnen and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"The Lady Confesses" with 
Mary Beth Hughes and Hugh Beaumont 

(PRC, May 16; time, 65 min.) 
This murder mystery melodrama should prove acceptable 
program fare for non-discriminating followers of this type 
of entertainment. Although the story is commonplace and 
it lacks exciting action, it is sufficiently mystifying and has 
enough suspense to hold one's attention to a fair degree. 
The treatment follows the usual pattern of directing sus- 
picion against several of the characters, with the guilty 
person emerging as the one least suspected. A few songs 
have been worked into the story without impeding the 
action : — 

On the eve of her marriage to Hugh Beaumont, Mary 
Beth Hughes is confronted by Barbara Slater, Beaumont's 
wife, who had been missing for seven years. Barbara warns 
Mary that she will not permit the marriage. Mary's efforts 
to reach Beaumont are unavailing; intoxicated, he was 
asleep in the dressing room of Claudia Drake, singer in a 
night-club owned by Edmund MacDonald, a notorious 
character. Later that evening Barbara is found murdered 
in her apartment. Captain Emmett Vogan of the police 
questions both Mary and Beaumont. Mary establishes a 
satisfactory alibi, but Beaumont finds himself under sus- 
picion when MacDonald, with whom he had spoken earlier 



in the evening, denies that he had 6een him, despite 
Claudia's statement that he had been in the club at the 
time of the murder. Suspicious of MacDonald, Mary secures 
employment in his nightclub in order to check on his move- 
ments. She overhears a quarrel between Claudia and Mac- 
Donald and, later, when Claudia is found murdered, she 
feels sure that MacDonald was responsible for both crimes. 
Finding a letter left by Claudia in her dressing room, ad- 
dressed to Captain Vogan, Mary excitedly telephones Beau- 
mont. He asks her to come up to his apartment immediately. 
Arriving there, Mary is horrified when Beaumont opens the 
letter in which Claudia accuses him of murdering Barbara 
and admits that she had furnished him with a false alibi. 
For the first time, Mary realizes that he was a homicidal 
maniac. Meanwhile Captain Vogan had discovered Beau- 
mont's fingerprints at the scene of Claudia's murder. He 
hurries to Beaumont's apartment, arriving there in time to 
stop him from murdering Mary. 

Helen Martin wrote the screen play, Alfred Stern pro- 
duced it, and Sam Newfield directed it. 
Unobjectionable morally. 

"The Horn Blows at Midnight" with 
Jack Benny and Alexis Smith 

(Warner Bros., Apr. 28; time, 78 min.) 
This fantastic comedy should go over pretty well with 
most audiences, for the story is novel and the plot develop- 
ments amusing. As the angel who is sent down from Heaven 
to blow his horn at midnight and thus destroy the wicked 
Earth, Jack Benny i- cast in a role that fits his particular 
brand of humor. The complications he gets himself into 
when he fails to complete his mission keep one chuckling 
throughout. At times the comedy reverts to slapstick in its 
broadest form, with several of the situations hilariously 
funny. The most comical of these are of the "Safety Last" 
variety in which Benny hangs precariously from a roof 
cornice and a flagpole high above a city street. These scenes 
should provoke uproarious laughter in crowded theatres. 
Although it is not a big picture, it has been given a pretty 
lavish production : — 

Benny, a trumpet player in a symphony orchestra, falls 
asleep during a broadcast and dreams that he was an angel 
in Heaven. He is summoned to the office of the Chief (Guy 
Kibbee), who assigns him to the task of destroying the 
planet Earth because of its bad behaviour. The Chief in- 
structs Benny to proceed to the Earth and, at the exact 
6troke of midnight, blow a golden trumpet. By this action, 
the Earth would be destroyed. Arriving on the Earth, Benny 
meets Allyn Joslyn and John Alexander, two fallen angels, 
who, because they had failed on a similar mission, had not 
been permitted to return to Heaven. Realizing the pur- 
pose of Benny's visit, the fallen angels plot to prevent his 
blowing the horn. As midnight approaches, Benny goes to 
the roof of a large hotel. Just at the stroke of midnight, 
Dolores Moran, a disillusioned cigarette girl, tries to com- 
mit suicide by throwing herself from the roof. Benny stops 
her, missing his chance to blow the horn. Crestfallen over 
his failure, Benny determines to make good on the following 
midnight. The fallen angels, delighted at his failure, enlist 
the aid of Reginald Gardiner, a suave crook, to steal Ben- 
ny's trumpet. Meanwhile in heaven, Alexis Smith, Benny's 
girl-friend, secures permission to go down to the earth to 
investigate Benny's failure, arriving in the midst of Gar- 
diner's efforts to steal the trumpet. She, too, becomes in- 
volved, and finally the Chief himself comes down to look 
into the matter. Benny eventually succeeds in recovering 
his trumpet only to be pushed off the roof when the others 
try to stop him from blowing it. As he falls to the street, 
he comes out of his dream. 

Sam Hellman and James V. Kern wrote the screen play, 
Mark Hellinger produced it, and Raoul Walsh directed it. 
The cast includes Franklyn Pangborn, Mike Mazurki and 
others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



IN TWO SECTIONS— SECTION TWO 

HARRISON'S REPORTS 



Vol. XXVII NEW YORK, SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 1945 No. 14 

(Partial Index No. 2 — Pages 26 to 52 Iricl.) 



Titles of Pictures Reviewed on Page 

Affairs of Susan, The- — Paramount (109 min.) 50 

Betrayal from the East — RKO (82 min.) 27 

Body Snatcher, The— RKO (78 min.) 32 

Brewster's Millions — United Artists (79 min.) 42 

Bring on the Girls — Paramount (92 min.) 26 

Circumstantial Evidence — 20th Century-Fox (68 min.) . 27 
Cisco Kid Returns, The — Monogram (64 m.) .not reviewed 

Clock, The— MGM (90 min.) 46 

Colonel Blimp — United Artists (148 min.) 47 

Corn is Green, The — Warner Bros. (114 min.) 51 

Crime Doctor's Courage, The — Columbia (70 min.) ... 36 

Crime, Inc.— PRC (75 min.) 28 

Delightfully Dangerous — United Artists (93 min.) .... 34 

Dillinger, John — Monogram (71 min.) 42 

Docks of New York — Monogram (62 min.) 36 

Earl Carroll Vanities — Republic (91 min.) 39 

Enchanted Cottage, The— RKO (92 min.) 27 

Enemy of the Law — PRC (56 m.) not reviewed 

Escape in the Fog — Columbia (63 min.) 42 

Eve Knew Her Apples — Columbia (64 min.) 51 

Fashion Model — Monogram (61 min.) 38 

Fog Island— PRC (70 min.) 43 

Frisco Sal — Universal (94 min.) 26 

Gangsters' Den — PRC (55 m.) not reviewed 

God is My Co-Pilot— Warner Bros. (90 min.) 31 

G.I. Honeymoon — Monogram (70 min.) 50 

Having Wonderful Crime— RKO (70 min.) 26 

Her Lucky Night — Universal (63 min.) 28 

High Powered — Paramount (60 min.) 30 

Hollywood and Vine— PRC (58 min.) 43 

Hotel Berlin — Warner Bros. (98 min.) 34 

House of Fear, The — Universal (68 min.) 46 

It's A Pleasure— RKO (90 min.) 36 

Keep Your Powder Dry— MGM (93 min.) 27 

Man Who Walked Alone, The— PRC (73 min.) 47 

Marked for Murder — PRC (58 m.) not reviewed 

Molly and Me — 20th Century-Fox (76 min.) 38 

Navajo Trail — Monogram (55 m.) not reviewed 

Pan-Americana — RKO (85 min.) 30 

Picture of Dorian Gray, The — MGM (110 min.) 30 

Power of the Whistler, The — Columbia (67 min.) .... 50 
Rough Ridin' Justice — Columbia (58 m.) . . . .not reviewed 
Rough, Tough and Ready — Columbia (66J/2 min.) .... 38 

Royal Scandal, A — 20th Century-Fox (94 min.) 46 

Salty O'Rourke — Paramount (97 min.) 31 

See My Lawyer — Universal (67 min.) 30 

.Sheriff of Cimarron — Republic (55 m.) not reviewed 

She's a Sweetheart — Columbia (69 min.) 35 

Song for Miss Julie, A — Republic (70 min.) 32 

Spell of Amy Nugent, The— PRC (60 min.) 34 

Strange Illusion— PRC (86 min.) 31 

Stranger from Sante Fe — Monogram (53 m.) . not reviewed 

Sudan — Universal (76 min.) 39 

There Goes Kelly — Monogram (61 min.) 35 

Unseen, The — Paramount (79 min.) 32 

Utah — Republic (78 m.) not reviewed 

Without Love— MGM (111 min.) 47 

Youth on Trial — Columbia (60 min.) 35 



RELEASE SCHEDULE FOR FEATURES 

Columbia Features 

(729 Seventh Ave., Hew Tor\ 19, H. Y.) 

6039 Let's Go Steady — Parrish-Moran Jan. 4 

6041 Youth on Trial— Collins-Reed Jan. 11 

6014 Eadie Was a Lady — Miller-Besser Jan. 18 

6024 I Love a Mystery — Bannon-Foch Jan. 25 

6204 Sage Brush Heroes — Starrett (54 m.) Feb. 1 



6221 

6002 

6019 
6017 
6205 
6034 
6018 

6037 
6026 
6222 
6023 



Sing Me a Song of Texas — Lane (66 m.) . . . .Feb. 8 
Tonight and Every Night — Hayworth- 

Bowman Feb. 22 

Leave it to Blondie — Lake-Singleton .Feb. 22 

Crime Doctor's Courage — Baxter-Crane Feb. 27 

Rough Ridin' Justice — Starrett (58 m.) . . . .Mar. 5 
A Guy, A Gal and a Pal — Hunter-Merrick . .Mar. 8 
Rough, Tough and Ready — McLaglen- 

Morris Mar. 22 

Escape in the Fog — Foch- Wright Apr. 5 

Eve Knew Her Apples — Miller- Wright Apr. 12 

Rockin' in the Rockies — Stooges-Hughes. . . .Apr. 17 

Power of the Whistler — Dix-Carter Apr. 19 

Return of the Durango Kid — Starrett Apr. 19 

Counter- Attack — Muni-Chapman Apr. 26 

Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion — Morris. May 10 
The Fighting Guardsman — -Parker-Louise . . .May 24 
Special 

A Song to Remember — Muni-Oberon Mar. 1 



Metro-Gcldwyn- Mayer Features 

(1540 Broadway, Hew Tor^ 19, 7v[. T.) 
Block 9 

50 1 The Seventh Cross — Tracy-Gurie September 

502 Barbary Coast Gent — Beery September 

503 Waterloo Bridge — Taylor-Leigh (reissue) .. September 

504 Maisie Goes to Reno — Sothern-Hodiak. ... September 

505 Marriage is a Private Affair — Turner- 

Craig October 

506 Kismet — Dietrich-Colman October 

507 Mrs. Parkington — Pidgeon-Garson November 

508 Naughty Marietta — MacDonald-Eddy 

(reissue) November 

510 An American Romance — Donlevy November 

509 Lost in a Harem — Abbott 6? Costello December 

Block 10 

513 The Thin Man Goes Home — Powell-Loy January 

514 Main Street After Dark— Arnold January 

515 Music for Millions — O'Brien-Allyson February 

516 Blonde Fever — Astor-Dorn February 

517 This Man's Navy — Beery-Drake February 

518 Between Two Women — Johnson-Barrymore. . .March 

519 Nothing But Trouble — Laurel & Hardy March 

520 Keep Your Powder Dry — Peters-Turner-Day. .March 

Specials 

500 Dragon Seed — Hepburn-Huston August 

511 Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo — Tracy-Johnson. .January 

512 Meet Me in St. Louis — Garland-O'Brien January 

521 National Velvet — Rooney-Taylor Not set 



Monogram Features 

(630 Hinth Ave., Hew Tor\ 19, H- T.) 
461 Song of the Range — Wakely (57 m.) Dec. 1 

421 Crazy Knights — Gilbert-Howard Dec. 8 

416 Shadow of Suspicion — Weaver-Cookson Dec. 15 

403 Alaska — Taylor-Lindsay Dec. 22 

409 Bowery Champs — East Side Kids Dec. 29 

414 Army Wives — Knox-Rambeau Jan. 12 

420 Adventures of Kitty O'Day — Parker-Cookson. Jan. 19 

417 The Jade Mask — Sidney Toler Jan. 26 

422 There Goes Kelly— Moran-McKay (re.) Feb. 24 

410 Docks of New York— East Side Kids Feb. 24 

429 The Cisco Kid Returns— Renaldo (64 m.) . . .Mar. 27 

423 Fashion Model — Lowery-Weaver Mar. 29 

401 Forever Yours — Storm-Brown (reset) Apr. 1 

406 G.I. Honeymoon — Storm-Cookson (re.) ... .April 8 

454 Gun Smoke — J. M. Brown (59 m.) Not set 

455 Navajo Trail — J. M. Brown (55 m.) Not set 

418 The Scarlet Clue— Sidney Toler April 20 

405 China's Little Devils — Carey-Kelley April 27 

456 Stranger from Sante Fe — J. M. Brown (53 m.). Not set 

402 Dillinger — Tierney-Lowe Not set 



April 7, 1945 HARRISON'S REPORTS Partial Index 



Page B 



Paramount Features 

( 1 501 Broadway, Hew Jor\ 18, H- T.) 
(No national release dates) 
Block 3 

441 1 Here Come the Waves — CrosbyHutton 

4412 Dangerous Passage — Lowery-Brooks 

4413 For Whom the Bell Tolls — Cooper-Bergman 

4414 Practically Yours — Colbert-MacMurray 

441? Double Exposure — Morris-Kelly 

Block 4 

4416 Bring on the Girls — Tufts-Bracken-Lake 

4417 The Unseen — McCrea-Russell 

4418 Salty O'Rourke— Ladd-Russell 

4419 High Powered — Lowery-Brooks 

Block 5 

4421 The Affairs of Susan — Fontaine-Brent 

4422 Murder, He Says — MacMurray-Walker 

4423 Scared Stiff— Haley-Savage 

4424 A Medal for Benny — Lamour-DcCordova 

Special 

4432 Sign of the Cross — Reissue 

PRC Pictures, Inc. Features 

(625 Madison Ave., Hew Yor\ 22, H- T.) 
514 Rogues' Gallery — Jenks-Raymond Dec. 6 

556 Oath of Vengeance — Buster Crabbe (57 m.) . .Dec. 9 

501 The Town Went Wild — Lydon-Bartholomew.Dec. 15 

513 Castle of Crimes — English-made Dec. 22 

553 The Whispering Skull— Texas Rangers (56m). Dec. 29 

557 His Brother's Ghost — Buster Crabbe (56 m.) . .Feb. 3 
516 The Kid Sister— Pryor-Clark Feb. 6 

554 Marked for Murder — Texas Rangers (58 m.) . .Feb. 8 

523 The Spell of Amy Nugent — English cast Feb. 10 

508 Fog Island— Atwill-Zucco Feb. 15 

507 The Man Who Walked Alone— O'Brien- 

Aldridge Mar. 15 

Strange Illusion — Lydon-William Mar. 31 

502 Crime, Inc.— Tilton-Neal Apr. 15 

Shadows of Death — Buster Crabbe (56 m.) 

(re.) Apr. 19 

Hollywood y Vine — Ellison-McKay (re.) Apr. 25 

Phantom of 42nd St. — O'Brien-Aldridge May 2 

Enemy of the Law — O'Brien-Ritter (56 m.). .May 7 

The Lady Confesses — Hughes-Beaumont May 16 

The Missing Corpse — Brombcrg-Jenks June 1 

Gangsters' Den — Buster Crabbe (55 m.) June 14 

The Silver Fleet — English cast June 15 

Republic Features 

(1790 Broadway, Hew York 19, H- T.) 
453 Firebrands of Arizona — Burnette-Carson 

(56 m.) Dec. 1 

408 Thoroughbreds — Neal-Mara Dec. 23 

406 Lake Placid Serenade — Ralston Dec. 23 

407 The Big Bonanza — Arlcn-Livingston Dec. 30 

3316 Sheriff of Las Vegas— Elliott-Blake (55 m.).Dec. 31 

409 Grissly's Million's — Kelly-Grey Jan. 16 

410 The Big Show-Off— Lake-Dale Jan. 22 

464 The Topeka Terror — Lane-Stirling (55 m.) . .Jan. 26 

3317 Great Stage Coach Robbery— Elliott (56 m.) .Feb. 15 

411 A Song for Miss Julie — Dolin-Markova Feb. 19 

454 Sheriff of Cimarron — Carson-Stirling (55m.) . .Feb. 28 

441 Utah— Roy Rogers (78 m.) Mar. 21 

412 The Great Flamarion — Von Stroheim-Hughes.Mar. 30 
414 Identity Unknown — Arlen- Walker Apr. 2 

RKO Features 

(1270 Sixth Ave., Hew Tor\ 20, H- T.) 
(No National Release Dates) 
Block 2 

506 Girl Rush — Carney-Brown 

507 Falcon in Hollywood — Conway-Borg 

508 Murder, My Sweet — Powell-Shirley (formerly 

"Farewell, My Lovely") 

509 Nevada — Mitchum-Jeffreys 

510 Experiment Perilous — Lamar-Brent 

Block 3 

511 What a Blonde— Errol-Borg 

512 Betrayal from the East — Tracy-Kelly 

513 Pan Americana — Terry- Arden 

514 Having a Wonderful Crime — O'Brien-Landis 

515 The Enchanted Cottage — Young-McGuire 

Block 4 

516 Zombies on Broadway — Brown-Carney 

517 The Body Snatcher— Karloff -Daniel 



518 Tarzan and the Amazons — Weissmuller 

519 China Sky— Scott-Warrick 

520 Those Endearing Young Charms — Young-Day 

Specials 

551 The Princess and the Pirate — Bob Hope 

581 Casanova Brown — Cooper- Wright 

582 Woman in the Window — Bennett-Robinson 

583 Belle of the Yukon— Scott-Lee 

584 It's a Pleasure— Henie-O'Shea 

591 The Three Caballeros — Disney 

Twentieth Century-Fox Features 

(444 W. 56th St.. Hew Tor\ 19, H- T.) 
Block 5 

512 Winged Victory — McCallister-O'Brien December 

513 Sunday Dinner for a Soldier — Baxter- 

Hodiak December 

(Note: Beginning with January, the practice of desig- 
nating releases by bloc\s has been discontinued.) 

514 Keys of the Kingdom — Peck-Mitchell January 

515 The Fighting Lady — Documentary January 

516 Hangover Square — Cregar-Darnell February 

517 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn — McGuire-Dunn . February 

518 Thunderhead — Son of Flicka — McDowall March 

519 Circumstantial Evidence — Nolan-O'Shea March 

520 The Song of Bcrnadette — Jennifer Jones April 

521 A Royal Scandal — Bankhead-Eythe April 

522 Molly and Me — Woolley-Fields April 

523 Call of the Wild— Gable (reissue) April 

United Artists Features 

(729 Seventh Ave., Hew Tor\ 19, H- T.) 

Dark Waters — Oberon-Tone Nov. 10 

3 Is a Family — Ruggles-Broderick Nov. 23 

Gue»t in the House — Baxter-Bellamy Dec. 8 

Tomorrow, the World — March-Field Dec. 29 

I'll Be Seeing You — Rogers-Cotten-Temple Jan. 5 

Mr. Emmanuel — English-made Jan. 19 

Delightfully Dangerous — Powell-Moore Mar. 31 

Brewster's Millions — O'Keefe- Walker Apr. 7 

It's in the Bag — Fred Allen Apr. 21 

Colonel Blimp — English cast May 4 

Hold Autumn in Your Hand — Scott-Field May 18 

The Great John L. — McClure-Darnell May 25 

Universal Features 

(1270 Sixth Ave.. Hew Tor^ 20, H- T.) 

9035 Night Club Girl— Austin-Norris Jan. 5 

9020 She Gets Her Man— Davis-Errol Jan. 12 

9039 Under Western Skies— O'Driscoll-Beery, Jr.. Jan. 19 

9010 The Suspect — Laughton-Raines Jan. 26 

9002 Here Come the Co-Eds— Abbott-Costello Feb. 2 

9021 Her Lucky Night — Andrews Sisters Feb. 9 

9013 House of Frankenstein — Karloff-Chaney Feb. 16 

9036 The Mummy's Curse — Lon Chaney Feb. 16 

9012 Frisco Sal — Bey-Foster-Curtis Feb. 23 

9006 Sudan— Montez-Bey-Hall Mar. 2 

9025 The House of Fear — Rathbonc-Bruce Mar. 16 

I'll Remember April — Jean-Grant (re.) Apr. 13 

Song of the Sarong — Gargan-Kelly Apr. 20 

Salome — Where She Danced — DeCarlo- 

Bruce (re.) Apr. 27 

Patrick the Great — O'Connor-Ryan May 4 

Honeymoon Ahead — Jones-McDonald (re.). May 11 
Swing out Sister — Cameron-Treacher (re.). .May 18 
See My Lawyer — Olsen 6* 1 Johnson (re.) . . . .May 25 

Blonde Ransom — Grey-Cook (re.) June 1 

The Woman in Green — Rathbone-Bruce. . . .June 8 

That's the Spirit — Oakie-Ryan June 15 

(Ed. Note: The release dates shown in the last index for 
the following features have been withdrawn: "haughty 
Hineties," "I'll Tell the World," "Penthouse Rhythm," 
and "Beyond the Pecos.") 

Warner Bros. Features 

(321 W. 44th St., Hew Tor\ 18, H- T.) 

406 The Very Thought of You — Morgan-Parker. Nov. 11 

407 The Doughgirls — Sheridan-Carson Nov. 25 

409 Hollywood Canteen — All star cast Dec. 30 

410 To Have and Have Not — Bogart-Bacall Jan. 20 

411 Objective Burma — Errol Flynn Feb. 17 

412 Roughly Speaking — Russell-Carson Mar. 3 

413 Hotel Berlin — Emerson-Dantine Mar. 17 

414 God is My Co-Pilot — Morgan-Massey Apr. 7 

415 The Horn Blows at Midnight — Jack Benny, . .Apr. 28 



Page C 



HARRISON'S REPORTS Partial Index April 7, 1945 



SHORT SUBJECT RELEASE SCHEDULE 

Columbia — One Reel 

6655 Community Sings No. 5 (9 m.) Jan. 1 

6501 Dog, Cat & Canary — Col. Rhap. (6 m.) Jan. 5 

6856 Screen Snapshots No. 6 (9 m.) Jan. 26 

6805 Kings of the Fairway — Sports (10 m.) Feb. 2 

6954 Korn Kobblers— Film Vodvil (11 m.) Feb. 2 

6656 Community Sings No. 6 (10 m.) Feb. 9 

6602 Kickapoo Juice — Li'l Abner (7m.) Feb. 23 

6857 Screen Snapshots No. 7 (9 m.) Feb. 25 

6806 Rough and Tumble — Sports (9m.) Mar. 2 

6657 Community Sings No. 7 Mar. 15 

6858 Screen Snapshots No. 8 Mar. 29 

6752 The Egg Yegg— Fox 6s? Crow (7'/ 2 m.) (re.) .Apr. 11 
6703 Goofy News Views — Phantasy (re.) Apr. 27 

6502 Rippling Romance — Col. Rhap. (8 m.) (re.). Apr. 27 

6807 The Iron Master— Sports (9y 2 m.) Apr. 27 

6753 Kukunuts — Fox 6s? Crow (re.) May 4 

6859 Screen Snapshots No. 9 May 17 

6503 Fiesta Time — Col. Rhapsody (re.) May 18 

6808 Hi Ho Rodeo — Sports May 25 

Columbia — Two Reels 

6410 Woo, Woo!— Hugh Herbert (16 m.) Jan. 5 

6132 Sign of Evil — Black Arrow No. 13 (15 m.).. Jan. 12 

6133 An Indian's Revenge — Black Arrow No. 14 

(15 m.) Jan. 19 

6403 Three Pests in a Mess — Stooges (15 m.) Jan. 19 

6134 The Black Arrow Triumphs — Black Arrow No. 15 

(15 m.) Jan. 26 

6140 Hot News— Brenda Starr No. 1 (22 m.) Jan. 26 

6430 Snooper Service — Brendel ( 14 J/2 m -) Feb. 2 

6141 The Blazing Trap — Brenda Starr No. 2 

(18 m.) Feb. 2 

6142 Taken for a Ride — Brenda Starr No. 3 

(18 m.) Feb. 9 

6143 A Ghost Walks— Brenda Starr No. 4 (18m.). Feb. 16 

6431 Off Again, On Again — Howard (16 m.) Feb. 16 

6144 The Big Boss Speaks— B. Starr No. 5 (18m.) .Feb. 23 

6145 Manhunt — Brenda Starr No. 6 ( 18 m.) Mar. 2 

6432 Two Local Yokels— Clyde (17J/ 2 m.) Mar. 2 

6146 Hideout of Terror — B. Starr No. 7 (18 m.).Mar. 9 

6147 Killer at Large— B. Starr No. 8 (18 m.) Mar. 16 

6404 Booby Dupes — Stooges (17 m.) Mar. 17 

6148 Dark Magic— Brenda Starr No. 9 (18 m.) . .Mar. 23 

6149 A Double-cross Backfires — B. Starr No. 10 

(18 m.) Mar. 30 

6433 Pistol Packin' Nitwits — Brendel Apr. 4 

6150 On the Spot— Brenda Starr No. 11 (18 m.) .Apr. 6 

6151 Murder at Night— B. Starr No. 12 (18 m.).. Apr. 13 

6152 Mystery of the Payroll — B. Starr No. 13 

(18 m.) Apr. 20 

6160 Mechanical Terror — Monster & the Ape No. 1 

(22 m.) Apr. 20 

6161 Edge of Doom — Monster & Ape No. 2 

(18 m.) Apr. 27 

6162 Flames of Faith — Monster 6s? Ape No. 3 

(18 m.) May 4 

6163 The Fatal Search— Monster & Ape No. 4 

(18 m.) May 11 

6164 Rocks of Doom — Monster 6s? Ape No. 5 

(18 m.) May 18 

6411 Wife Decoy — Hugh Herbert May 18 

6165 A Friend in Disguise — Monster 6s? Ape No. 6 

(18 m.) May 25 

6166 A Scream in the Night — Monster 6s? Ape No. 7 

(18 m.) June 1 

6423 Jury Goes Round 6s? Round — Vera Vague. . .June 1 



Metro-Gold wyn-Mayer — One Reel 
1943*44 

T'522 Wandering Here and There — Travel. (9m) .Dec. 9 

W-541 Mouse Trouble — Cartoon (7 m.) Dec. 23 

W-542 Barney Bear's Polar Pet — Cartoon (7 m.) . .Dec. 30 

W-543 Screwy Truant — Cartoon (7 m.) Jan. 13 

W-544 The Unwelcome Guest— Cartoon (7 m.) . .Feb. 17 
W-545 Shooting of Dan McGoo — Cartoon (7m.) .Mar. 3 

M-590 Little White Lie — Miniature (11 m.) Mar. 3 

K-575 It Looks Like Rain — Pass. Par. (9 m.) Mar. 3 

S-559 Track 6s? Field Quiz— Pete Smith (9 m.) Mar. 3 

W-546 Jerkey Turkey — Cartoon (7 m.) Apr. 7 

(More to come) 



1944-45 

T-611 Shrines of Yucatan — Traveltalk (9 m.) Feb. 24 

T-612 See El Salvador— Traveltalk (10 m.) Mar. 31 

Metro-Gold wyn-Mayer — Two Reels 
1943-44 

A-501 Dark Shadows— Special (22 m.) Dec. 16 

(More to come) 

Paramount — One Reel 

U4-3 Hot Lip Jasper — Puppetoon (7 m.) Jan. 5 

L4'2 Unusual Occupations No.' 2 (10 m.) Jan. 12 

Y4-2 Who's Who in Animal Land — Speaking of 

Animals (9 m.) Jan. 19 

R4-4 Out Fishin' — Sportlight (9 m.) Jan. 26 

E4-2 Pop-Pie- Ala-Mode— Popeye (7 m.) Jan. 26 

P4-3 When G. I. Johnny Comes Home — 

Noveltoon (8m.) Feb. 2 

J4-3 Popular Science No. 3 (10 m.) Feb. 16 

R4-5 Blue Winners— Sportlight (9 m.) Feb. 23 

L4-3 Unusual Occupations No. 3 (10 m.) Mar. 9 

Y4-3 In the Public Eye — Speak, of Animals (8m) .Mar. 16 

E4-3 Tops in the Big Top — Popeye Mar. 16 

U4-4 Jasper Tell — Puppetoon (8m.) Mar. 23 

R4-6 Game Bag— Sportlight (9 m.) Mar. 30 

D4-3 Magicalulu — Little Lulu (7 m.) Mar. 2 

P4-4 Scrappily Married — Noveltoon (re.) (8 m.). Mar. 30 

J4-4 Popular Science No. 4 (10 m.) Apr. 6 

D4-4 Beau Ties — Little Lulu Apr. 20 

E4-4 Shape Ahoy — Popeye Apr. 27 

L4-4 Unusual Occupations No. 4 May 11 

Y4-4 Talk of the Town — Speak, of Animals May 18 

U4-4 Jasper's Minstrels — Puppetoon (9m.) May 25 

J4-5 Popular Science No. 5 June 1 

E4-5 For Better or Nurse — Popeye June 8 

Paramount — Two Reels 

FF4-1 Bonnie Lassie — Musical Parade (19 m.)...Oct. 6 

FF4-2 Star Bright— Musical Parade (20 m.) Dec. 15 

FF4-3 Bombalera— Musical Parade (20 m.) Feb. 9 

FF4-4 Isle of Tabu— Musical Parade (17 m.) Apr. 13 

FF4-5 Boogie Woogie — Musical Parade (17 m.)..June 15 

Republic — Two Reels 

481 Zorro's Black Whip — Lewis- Stirling 

(12 episodes) Dec. 16 

482 Manhunt of Mystery Island — Bailey-Stirling 

(15 episodes) Mar. 17 

RKO — One Reel 

54304 Parallel Skiing — Sportscope (8 m.) Dec. 1 

54105 Donald's Off Day— Disney (7 m.) Dec. 8 

54203 Flicker Flashbacks No. 3 (9 m.) Dec. 8 

54305 Five Star Bowlers — Sportscope (8 m.) Dec. 29 

54106 Tiger Trouble — Disney (7 m.) Jan. 5 

54204 Flicker Flashbacks No. 4 (9 m.). Jan. 19 

54107 The Clock Watcher— Disney (8 m.) Jan. 26 

54306 Court Craft — Sportscope (8 m.) Jan. 26 

54307 Ski Gulls— Sportscope (7 m.) Feb. 23 

54205 Flicker Flashbacks No. 5 (9 m.) Mar. 2 

54308 Athlete of the Year — Sportscope (8 m.) . . .Mar. 23 
54109 The Eyes Have It— Disney (7 m.) Mar. 30 

RKO — Two Reels 

53203 Swing Vacation — Headliners (19 m.) Dec. 1 

53102 New Americans — This is America (l^J/^mJ.Dec. 15 

53402 Ali Baba— Edgar Kennedy (18 m.) Jan. 5 

53103 Power Unlimited — This is America (17 m.) .Jan. 19 

53104 On Guard — This is America (17 m.) Feb. 9 

53703 Birthday Blues— Leon Errol (17 m.) Feb. 16 

53403 Sleepless Tuesday— Edgar Kennedy (18m.) .Feb. 23 

53105 Honorable Discharge — This is America 

(17 m.) Mar. 9 

53204 Swing Fever — Headliners (19 m.) Mar. 16 

Twentieth Century-Fox — One Reel 

5257 Canyons of the Sun — Adventure (8 m.) Jan. 5 

5509 Mighty Mouse 6s? the Pirate — Terry. (6m.). .Jan. 12 
5302 Steppin' Pretty — Sports. (8 m.) Jan. 19 

5510 Port of Missing Mice — Terrytoon (6J/2 m.) . .Feb. 2 
5353 Nova Scotia — Sports (8m.) Feb. 9 

5511 Ants in Your Pantry — Terrytoon (6 m.) . . .Feb. 16 
5255 City of Paradox — Adventure (8 m.) Mar. 2 

5512 Raiding the Raiders — Terrytoon Mar. 9 

(Continued on last page) 



April 7, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS Partial Index 



Page D 



5256 Alaskan Grandeur — Adventure (8 m.) Mar. 16 

5513 Post War Inventions — Terrytoon Mar. 23 

5514 Fisherman's Luck — Terrytoon Mar. 30 

5902 Good Old Days — Lew Lehr Apr. 6 

5515 Mighty Mouse ftf the Kilkenny Cats — 

Terrytoon Apr. 13 

5258 Land of 10,000 Lakes— Adventure (8 ra.)..Apr. 27 

5516 Mother Goose Nightmare — Terrytoon May 4 

5517 Smoky Joe — Terrytoon May 25 

5354 Down the Fairway — Sports June 1 

5518 The Silver Streak— Terrytoon June 8 

5259 Isle of Romance — Adventure June 20 

5519 Aesops Fable — The Mosquito — Terrytoon . .June 29 

Twentieth Century-Fox — Two Reels 

Vol. 11 No. 4 — Inside China Today — March of 

Time (17^2 m.) Dec. 1 

Vol. 11 No. 5 — The Unknown Battle — March of 

Time (18l/ 2 m.) Dec. 29 

Vol. 1 1 No. 6 — Report on Italy — March of 

Time (17 m.) Jan. 26 

Vol. 11 No. 7 — The West Coast Question — March of 

Time (16 m.) Feb. 23 

Vol. 11 No. 8— Memo from Britain — March of 

Time (16 m.) Mar. 23 

Universal — One Reel 

93 53 Mr. Chimp at Coney Island — Var. Views 

(9 m.) Dec. 11 

9372 One Man Newspaper— Per. Odd. (9 m.)...Dec. 18 

9235 Painter and the Pointer — Cartune (7 m.). . .Dec. 18 
9234 Pied Piper of Basin St. — Cartune (7 m.) Jan. 15 

9373 ABC Pin-up— Per. Odd. (9 m.) Jan. 15 

9374 Pigtail Pilot— Per. Odd. (9 m.) Jan. 22 

9354 White Treasure — Var. Views (9 m.) Jan. 29 

9236 Chew Chew Baby— Cartune (7 m.) Feb. 5 

9237 Sliphorn King of Polaroo — Cartune (7 m.) . .Mar. 19 

Universal — Two Reels 
9693 The Boomerang — River Boat No. 13 (17 m.). Jan. 10 

9124 Jive Busters — Musical (15 m.) Jan. 17 

9581 Invitation to Death — Jungle Queen No. 1 

(17 m.) Jan. 23 

9582 Jungle Sacrifice— Jungle Queen No. 2 (17m). Jan. 30 

9583 The Flaming Mountain — Jungle Queen No. 3 

(17 m.) Feb. 6 

9584 Wild Cats Stampede — Jungle Queen No. 4 

(17 m.) Feb. 13 

9125 Melody Parade— Musical (15 m.) Feb. 14 

9585 The Burning Jungle — Jungle Queen No. 5 

(17 m.) Feb. 20 

9586 Danger Ship— Jungle Queen No. 6 (17 m.).Feb. 27 

9126 Swing Serenade — Musical (15 m.) Feb. 28 

9587 Trip Wire Murder — Jungle Queen No. 7 

(17 m.) Mar. 6 

9588 The Mortar Bomb — Jungle Queen No. 8 

(17 m.) Mar. 13 

9589 Death Watch— Jungle Queen No. 9 (17 m.) .Mar. 20 

9590 Execution Chamber — Jungle Queen No. 10 

(17 m.) Mar. 27 

9591 The Trail to Doom — Jungle Queen No. 11 

(17 m.) Apr. 3 

9592 Dragged Under — Jungle Queen No.-12 

(17 m.) Apr. 10 

9593 The Secret of the Sword — Jungle Queen No. 13 

(17 m.) Apr. 17 

Vitaphone — One Reel 

1721 Herr Meets Hare — Bugs Bunny (7 m.) Jan. 13 

1503 Glamour in Sports — Sports (10 m.) Jan. 13 

1306 Fella with a Fiddle— Hit. Par. (7 m.) Jan. 20 

1606 Rhythm of the Rhumba — Mel. Mas. (10 m.).Jan. 27 

1701 Draftee Daffy — Looney Tune (7 m.) Jan. 27 

1504 Bikes and Skis— Sports (10 m.) Feb. 10 

1722 Unruly Hare — Bugs Bunny (7 m.) Feb. 10 

1307 When I Yoo Hoo— Hit Parade (7m.) Feb. 24 

1702 Trap Happy Porky — Looney Tune (7 m.) . . .Feb. 24 

1505 Cuba Calling— Sports (10 m.) Mar. 10 

1404 Overseas Roundup — Varieties (10 m.) Mar. 17 

1308 I Only Have Eyes for You— Hit Par. (7 m.) .Mar. 17 

1607 Musical Mexico — Merrie Melody (7m.)... .Mar. 24 

1703 Life with Feathers — Mer. Mel. (7 m.) Mar. 24 

1506 Swimcapades — Sports (10 m.) Apr. 7 

1704 Behind the Meat Ball — Looney Tune (7 m.) . Apr. 7 

1309 Ain't We Got Fun— Hit Par. (7 m.) Apr. 21 

1723 Hare Trigger — Bugs Bunny (7m.) Apr. 21 



1507 
1705 
1706 
1608 
1405 
1508 

1105 
1101 

1002 
1106 
1003 
1107 
1109 
11 10 
1108 

1004 



Water Babies — Sports ( 10 in.) May 5 

Ain't that Ducky — Looney Tune (7 in.) . . . .May 5 

Gruesome Twosome — Mer. Mel. (7 m.) May 19 

Circus Band — Melody Master (10 m.) May 19 

Overseas Roundup No. 2 — Varieties ( 10 m.) .May 26 

Mexican Sea Sports — Sports (10 m.) May 26 

Vitaphone — Two Reels 

Nautical but Nice — Featurette (20 m.) Dec. 2 

I Am An American — Featurette (20 m.). . . .Dec. 23 

Beachhead to Berlin — Special (20 m.) Jan. 6 

Congo — Featurette (20 m.) Feb. 17 

Pledge to Bataan — Special (20 m.) Feb. 3 

Navy Nurse — Featurette (20 m.) Mar. 3 

Are Animals Actors? — Featurette (20 m ). .Mar. 31 
Law of the Badlands — Featurette (20 m.).. .Apr. 14 
It Happened in Springfield — Featurette 

(20 m.) Apr. 28 

Coney Island Honeymoon — Special (re.) 

(20 m.) May 12 



NEWSWEEKLY 
NEW YORK 
RELEASE DATES 



Pathe News 

55264 Wed. (E) . . Apr. 4 

55165 Sat. (O). . .Apr. 7 

55266 Wed. (E). .Apr. 11 

55167 Sat. (0)...Apr. 14 

55268 Wed. (E). .Apr. 18 

55169 Sat. (O). . .Apr. 21 

55270 Wed. (E). .Apr. 25 

55171 Sat. (O). . .Apr. 28 

55272 Wed. (E). .May 2 

55173 Sat. (O) . . .May 5 

55274 Wed. (E). .May 9 

55175 Sat. (O). . .May 12 

55276 Wed. (E). .May 16 

55177 Sat. (O). . .May 19 



Paramount 

61 Sunday (O). 

62 Thurs. (E) . . 

63 Sunday (O). 

64 Thurs. (E). . 

65 Sunday (O) . 

66 Thurs. (E). . 

67 Sunday (O). 

68 Thurs. (E). . 

69 Sunday (O) . 

70 Thurs. (E). . 

71 Sunday (O). 

72 Thurs. (E) . . 

73 Sunday (O) . 

74 Thurs. (E). . 



News 

.Apr. 1 
.Apr. 5 
.Apr. 8 
.Apr. 12 
.Apr. 15 
.Apr. 19 
.Apr. 22 
.Apr. 26 
.Apr. 29 
. .May 3 
. . May 6 
. .May 10 
. .May 13 
. .May 17 





Fox Movietone 


61 


Tues. 


(O).. 


..Apr. 3 


62 


Thurs 


(E).. 


..Apr. 5 


63 


Tues. 


(O).. 


. .Apr. 10 


64 


Thurs. 


(E).. 


. .Apr. 12 


65 


Tues. 


(O).. 


. . Apr. 17 


66 


Thurs. 


(E).. 


. .Apr. 19 


67 


Tues. 


(O).. 


. .Apr. 24 


68 


Thurs. 


(E) . . 


. . Apr.. 26 


69 


Tues. 


(O).. 


. . May 1 


70 


Thurs. 


(E).. 


. .May 3 


71 


Tues. 


(O).. 


. . May 8 


72 


Thurs. 


(E) . . 


. .May 10 


73 


Tues. 


(O).. 


. .May 15 


74 


Thurs. 


(E) . . 


. .May 17 



Metrotone News 


259 


Tues. 


(O). 


..Apr. 3 


260 


Thurs. 


(E). 


..Apr. 5 


261 


Tues. 


(O). 


. .Apr. 10 


262 


Thurs. 


(E). 


. .Apr. 12 


263 


Tues. 


(O). 


. .Apr. 17 


264 


Thurs. 


(E). 


. .Apr. 19 


265 


Tues. 


(O). 


. .Apr. 24 


266 


Thurs. 


(E). 


. .Apr. 26 


267 


Tues. 


(O). 


..May 1 


268 


Thurs. 


(E). 


. . May 3 


269 


Tues. 


(O). 


..May 8 


270 


Thurs. 


(E). 


. .May 10 


271 


Tues. 


(O). 


. .May 15 


272 


Thurs. 


(E). 


. .May 17 





Universal 


385 


Tues 


(O).. 


, . Apr. 3 


386 


Thurs. 


(E) . . 


.Apr. 5 


387 


Tues. 


(O).. 


, .Apr. 10 


388 


Thurs. 


(E).. 


. .Apr. 12 


389 


Tues. 


(O).. 


, .Apr. 17 


390 


Thurs. 


(E).. 


.Apr. 19 


391 


Tues. 


(O).. 


.Apr. 24 


392 


Thurs. 


(E) • 


. Apr. 26 


393 


Tues. 


(O). 


. . May 1 


394 


Thurs. 


(E). 


. .May 3 


395 


Tues. 


(O). 


. . May 8 


396 


Thurs. 


(E). 


. .May 10 


397 


Tues. 


(O). 


. .May 15 


398 


Thurs. 


(E). 


. .May 17 



All American News 

128 Friday Apr. 6 

129 Friday Apr. 13 

130 Friday Apr. 20 

131 Friday Apr. 27 

132 Friday May 4 

133 Friday May 11 

134 Friday May 18 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 

Harrison's Reports 

Yearly Subscription Rates: 1270 SIXTH AVENUE Published Weekly by. 

United States $15.00 Ttnnrry 1 «1 9 Harrison's Reports, Inc., 

U. S. Insular Possessions. 16.50 i\oura 1014 Publisher 

Canada 16.50 New York 20, N. Y. P. S. HARRISON, Editor 

Mexico, Cuba, Spain 16.50 . .. . _ . „ . 

r f r -1 " IK 75 A Motion Picture Reviewing Service 

Australia New ' Zealand' Devoted Chiefly to the Interests of the Exhibitors Established July 1, 1919 

India, Europe, Asia .... 17.50 Ug EditoHal Po i icy . No p ro blem Too Big for Its Editorial Circle 7-4622 

35c a copy Columns, if It is to Benefit the Exhibitor. 

A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 



Vol. XXVII 



SATURDAY, APRIL 14, 1945 



No. 15 



WHAT ABOUT IT, MR. ADAMS? 

Motion Picture Daily reports that the distribution heads 
of the film companies have stated that, because of the statu- 
tory order issued recently by the British Board of Trade, 
requiring that a license be obtained to export positive and 
negative prints processed in Britain for exhibition abroad, 
the American producer-distributors will have to make chang- 
es in their methods of supplying release prints of American 
pictures to Sweden, Australia, Egypt, India and other coun- 
tries. 

These executives said that London laboratories have been 
servicing some of the aforementioned countries with release 
prints of American pictures, but now the prints will have 
to be made in this country, thus creating a further drain on 
the already tight raw stock situation. 

The British order was, of course, brought about by the 
raw stock shortage in their own country. 

Raw film stock, like sugar, meat, or shoes, is a rationed 
commodity. The intent behind the Government's rationing 
of any commodity is to give all parties affected by the short- 
age an equitable share of the available amount of that com- 
modity. Thus far the War Production Board has not seen 
to it that equitable treatment be accorded to all those inter- 
ested in the benefits to be derived from rationed raw film 
stock. So far as the producers are concerned, the WPB has 
allocated the available raw stock on what appears to be a 
fair basis, but it has done nothing about regulating the 
usage of this stock so that the American exhibitors, who are 
equally dependent upon the stock for their livelihood, might 
share its benefits equitably. 

The distributors themselves admit that, because of the 
aforementioned British ruling, they will have to draw raw 
stock from the domestic market to protect their interests in 
foreign markets. And the WPB is permitting them to do so 
at the expense of the American exhibitor. 

Letters from independent exhibitors throughout the coun- 
try have been transmitted to the WPB by National Allied 
showing that, even prior to the order curtailing release 
prints, the producer-distributors reduced the number of 
prints per picture to such an extent that many exhibitors 
were put far behind in playing time. Moreover, they used 
the shortage to increase the clearance that their affiliated 
theatres enjoyed, as well as to extract higher film rentals 
from "the independents. 

Mr. Stanley Adams, head of the WPB's Durable Goods 
Division, which allocates the raw film stock, has stated 
that "the WPB will not permit . . . anyone to have an 
advantage to the disadvantage of anyone else. Any indica- 
tions to the contrary will bring immediate action for relief 
by the WPB." 

Well, what about some action, Mr. Adams? 



COMMON SENSE NEEDED TO MEET 
COMPETITION ABROAD 
SUCCESSFULLY 

In an interview with the trade papers recently, J. A. Mc- 
Conville, President of Columbia International Pictures 
Corporation, said that, since the Argentine Government 
issued a decree making it compulsory for exhibitors to pay 
percentage terms on Argentine productions, it is now pos- 
sible for the U.S. distributors to secure percentage terms, 
thus gaining for their pictures income that is commensurate 
with their earning power 



As said in these columns before, there is going to be 
stiff competition in the exhibition of pictures abroad. In 
each country the native product will be favored over im- 
ported product, and although American-made pictures will 
have greater demand than the pictures of other nations, 
they will have competition from the local product, and in 
a tough way. 

This paper pointed out in one or two articles that the way 
to meet competition effectively in a given country is for the 
American producers to send to that country their best 
pictures, so that the native population will have a chance 
to compare the high quality of these American pictures with 
the average quality of the national product. If the producers 
should adopt such a policy, the American pictures will sweep 
aside all competition from local product. 

Who can doubt that in Argentina, where the number of 
theatres is small, and where the money spent on local pro- 
ductions will naturally have to be only a small part of what 
is spent on pictures in this country, the American pictures 
will be preferred to those of Argentina if the policy sug- 
gested were followed? 

If the American producers should not follow the policy 
of sending only their best product abroad, competition to 
American pictures will stiffen also for another reason: play- 
ers native to a given country will become so popular that 
the mediocre American pictures, and even the best ones, 
will be outgrossed by the pictures with the local talent. They 
have had experience on this in neighboring Mexico: I have 
been told that two Mexican stars, one male and one female, 
outgross any American star. And the pictures of these stars 
outgross pictures with the best American stars also in other 
countries where Spanish is spoken. 

The world markets are slipping from the hands of the 
American companies, for no other reason than that the 
American producers refuse to listen to common sense. And 
there has never been a time when listening to common sense 
would be more profitable than it is now, when the supply of 
raw stock is getting smaller and smaller. 



THE ''ALL-STAR BOND RALLY" 
SHORT SUBJECT 

In connection with the forthcoming Seventh War Loan 
Drive, Twentieth Century-Fox, under the auspices of the 
War Activities Committee, has produced an outstanding, 
19-minute two reeler musical, titled the "All-Star Bond 
Rally," starring such players as Bing Crosby, Bop Hope, 
Betty Grable, Harry James and his Orchestra, Frank Sinatra, 
Carmen Miranda, Fibber McGee and Molly, Harpo Marx, 
Linda Darnell, Jeanne Crain, Vivian Blaine, June Haver, 
Faye Marlow and others. 

Not only is this short subject a great salesman for the 
sale of bonds in theatres, but it is also a top-notch entertain- 
ment. Moreover, it gives public recognition to the theatre 
manager for the great work he is doing in the war effort. 

The National Motion Picture Industry Seventh War 
Loan Committee is putting so much importance on this 
short subject that it has arranged for the distribution of 
1200 prints — double the number customarily issued on 
WAC shorts — so that every theatre throughout the nation 
can play it quickly and effectively, in order that it do the 
most good during the Drive. 

"All-Star Bond Rally" will be distributed to the ex- 
hibitors rental free. Harrison's Reports urges each of you 
to play it at every show, for it will, not only spur the sale 
of bonds, but also furnish your customers with a "solid" 
nineteen minutes of entertainment. 



58 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



April 14, 1945 



"The Valley of Decision" with Greer Garson 

and Gregory Peck 

(MGM, no release date set; time, 1 18 min.) 

A very good drama, ideally suited to the talents of Greer 
Garson; it should go over very well, for the story, based on 
Marcia Davenport's best-selling novel, has all the ingredients 
that endow it with mass appeal. Laid in the Pittsburgh of 
1880, the story covers a span of twelve years and it revolves 
around the unfulfilled love between an understanding Irish 
servant girl and the son of a wealthy steel baron. It is a 
beautiful but heart-rending romance, marred by a tragedy 
in which the young couple's fathers, long bitter enemies, lose 
their lives in a strike riot. Miss Garson and Gregory Peck, 
as the lovers, are outstanding, winning the spectator's re- 
spect because of their display of fine traits. One sympathizes 
deeply with them because of the incidents that mar their 
happiness. One situation that will stir the emotions is where 
the steel baron, learning that Miss Garson had given up his 
son, because of their difference in social positions, asks her 
to become his daughter-in-law. Changing events result in 
Peck's marrying another woman, but years later, in a pow- 
erfully dramatic sequence, he denounces his nagging wife, 
and reunites with Miss Garson. This ending should please 
most audiences. Lionel Barrymore, as Miss Garson's crip- 
pled, embittered father, has an unsympathetic part, but he 
plays it effectively: — 

Greer becomes a servant in the home of Donald Crisp, 
despite the opposition of her father, who had been crippled 
in an accident in Crisp's steel mill. She endears herself to 
Gladys Cooper, Crisp's wife, and to their four children, 
Gregory Peck, Marshall Thompson, Dan Duryea, and 
Marsha Hunt. Love comes to Greer and Peck, but she de- 
cides not to marry him because of her lowly position. But 
when Crisp learns of this, he brings the two together. Greer's 
joy, however, is saddened by a strike at the mill, encouraged 
by her father. When Crisp sends for strikebreakers, Greer, 
fearing bloodshed, arranges for a peace meeting between 
him and the strikers. But through a misunderstanding, the 
strikebreakers arrive in the midst of the meeting. Greer's 
father, enraged, incites the strikers and, in the ensuing battle, 
both he and Crisp are killed. Grief stricken, Greer with- 
draws from Peck's life. Ten years later, Peck, married to 
Jessica Tandy, a childhood sweetheart, leads an unhappy 
life because of her constant nagging. When Peck's mother 
is stricken with a heart attack, she calls for Greer, much to 
the annoyance of Jessica, who feared that Peck's love for 
her might flame anew. After their mother's death, Duryea, 
Thompson, and Marsha vote to sell the steel mill, despite 
Peck's plea that it remain in the family. Greer, to whom 
Peck's mother had left her share of the mill, sides with Peck 
and saves the mill by inducing Marsha to change her vote. 
Incensed by Greer's action, Jessica insults her. Peck, angered, 
breaks with his wife and, indicating a divorce, reunites with 
Greer. 

John Meehan and Sonya Levien wrote the screen play, 
Edwin H. Knopf produced it, and Tay Garnett directed it. 
The cast includes Preston Foster. Reginald Owen, John 
Warburton, Dean Stockwell and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Song of the Sarong" with William Gargan 
and Nancy Kelly 

( Universal, April 20; time, 65 min.) 

Mediocre program fare, handicapped by a story that is up 
to the intelligence of a five-year-old child. The whole thing 
is no more than an excuse for a group of girls, particularly 
the leading lady, to cavort about dressed in sarongs. Even 
the comedy, furnished by Eddie Quillan and Fuzzy Knight, 
is too inane to be amusing. The best that can be said for the 
picture is that it has a few catchy melodies, but even un- 
discriminating audiences will expect to find more than a few 
tuneful songs. The players are helpless up against the weak 
story material : — 

William Gargan, an adventurer, is hired by an unscrupul- 
ous millionaire to steal a hoard of pearls from a native tribe 



on a South Pacific island. Despite the millionaire's warning 
that the treasure was guarded by natives with poisoned 
spears, Gargan heads for the island in his seaplane. En 
route, he discovers two stowaways«on board — Eddie Quillan 
and Fuzzy Knight, who had overheard his conversation with 
the millionaire. Arriving on the island, Gargan placates the 
suspicious natives by claiming that he was forced down with 
engine trouble. He learns that island was ruled by Nancy 
Kelly, a white girl, whom the natives believed to be the 
daughter of a Goddess. Nancy had been reared and edu- 
cated by George Cleveland, a pious sea captain, who had 
been marooned on the island years previously. Aware that 
Gargan had come to the island to steal the pearls, Cleveland 
tries to disuade him. But Gargan scoffs at the old man, and 
determines to carry out his plan. Meanwhile Nancy falls in 
love with Gargan, much to the annoyance of George Dolenz, 
a high caste native, to whom she was engaged. Gargan re- 
sists falling in love with her, but tries to get from her the 
golden key to the temple holding the pearls. Failing, Gargan 
decides to dynamite the entrance. Dolenz, discovering his 
plan, pretends friendship and offers to help him for a share 
of the loot. Gargan agrees, only to find himself captured by 
the natives, summoned by Dolenz. As altar fires are lit for 
Gargan's execution, Nancy prays for a miracle. A sudden 
storm quenches the fire, and the natives, believing that the 
Gods wished his life spared, unchain Gargan. Dolenz 
leaves the island defeated, and Nancy reunites with Gargan. 

Gene Lewis wrote the screen play and produced it. Har- 
old Young directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"I'll Remember April" with Gloria Jean 
and Kirby Grant 

( Universal, April 13; time, 63 min.) 

Just a mildly entertaining program picture. Some people 
may find enjoyment in it,. but it will not be such as to make 
them remember it or induce a picture hunger in them. The 
story, which is a mixture of drama, music, comedy, and 
murder mystery, is very thin, and little imagination has been 
used in its presentation. The murder mystery angle in par- 
ticular is ineffective, for the spectator is not given an oppor- 
tunity to guess the murderer's identity; the hero, through 
clues known only to himself, traps the killer with the great- 
est of ease. Gloria Jean's pleasant singing is the best the 
picture has to offer: — 

Morgan Wallace, a crooked financier, admits to his board 
of directors that he had gambled away their money, and 
asks for thirty days in which to make restitution. Because of 
the shock, Samuel H. Hinds, one of the directors, suffers 
a heart attack, and is compelled to withdraw his daughter, 
Gloria Jean, from finishing school. Gloria, to help her 
father recoup his finances, goes to one of Kirby Grant's 
talent broadcasts, where she is given an opportunity to sing 
on the radio. Milburn Stone, Grant's rival on another pro- 
gram, is so impressed with Gloria's singing that he arranges 
to have her sing on his show. But Grant, lest his sponsors 
be displeased, tricks Gloria away from Milburn's show and 
has her sing on his own program once again. Later Grant 
meets Gloria's father and learns of the impending board 
meeting at which the crooked financier was to announce 
whether or not he could return the stolen funds. Grant 
manages to conceal a microphone in the board room, but 
instead of broadcasting the financier's remarks, he finds him- 
self broadcasting his murder when the man is shot mysteri- 
ously. Circumstancial evidence points to Hinds as the killer, 
but Grant refuses to believe it. He enlists the aid of Stone, 
his rival, and both of them, assisted by Gloria, trap the real 
killer, who turns out to be a window washer employed in 
the defunct firm's office building: he had been one of the 
financier's many victims. With Hinds cleared of the murder 
charge, Grant wins Gloria's heart. 

M. Coates Webster wrote the screen play, Gene Lewis 
produced it, and Harold Young directed it. The cast includes 
Jacqueline de Wit, Hobart Cavanaugh, Pierre Watkin and 
others. Unobjectionable morally. 



April 14, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



59 



"Diamond Horseshoe" with Betty Grable 
and Dick Haymes 

(20th Century-Fox, May; time, 104 rain.) 

This musical will undoubtedly prove to be an outstanding 
box-office attraction; it has been given an elaborate produc- 
tion, photographed in Technicolor, it has Betty Grable for 
marquee value, and above all it is a good mass entertain- 
ment. The story, although of the typical backstage variety, 
has considerable human interest, and the romance is ap- 
pealing. It has good comedy, too, with Phil Silvers provok- 
ing most of the laughs by his antics and by his running gag 
around the question of why the show must go on. The pro- 
duction numbers are exquisite and highly imaginative. 
Betty Grable appears at her best here; she sings and dances, 
wears the sort of clothes that appeal to women and in general 
gives an effective performance. Dick Haymes, does very well 
in a straight dramatic role, less accent being placed on his 
singing. Others who take part in the action and in the 
musical numbers include William Gaxton and Beatrice Kay, 
with specialty numbers being contributed by Willie Solar 
and Carmen Cavallaro. The music is melodious: — 

A feud between Betty and Gaxton, top entertainers at 
Billy Rose's Diamond Horseshoe, reaches a climax when 
Dick Haymes, Gatxon's son, falls in love with her. Haymes, 
a medical student, had quit school against his father's wishes 
in order to get into show business, but he had promised to 
return to his studies if he failed to make good. Beatrice Kay, 
another entertainer, who loved Gaxton but feared that she 
would lose him, because of his close attachment to Haymes, 
enlists Betty's aid in a plot to get the boy out of the way, 
promising her a fur coat for her trouble. Betty accepts 
Haymes' attentions only to find herself deeply in love with 
him. She marries the young man, causing a break between 
father and son when Gaxton accuses her of trickery. Gax- 
ton's opposition causes Betty to leave the show, and she 
teams up with Haymes in a singing and dancing act that is 
not too successful. She soon realizes that his heart was in 
medicine, and she induces him to return to school while she 
earned the money for his tuition. Gaxton, learning of her 
sacrifice, begs her forgiveness. 

George Seaton wrote the screen play and directed it. 
William Perlberg produced it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"Salome, Where She Danced" with 
Yvonne de Carlo, Rod Cameron 
and David Bruce 

(Universal, April 27; time, 90 min.) 

This is a very expensive production, photographed in 
Technicolor, which, despite its hodge-podge mixture of 
romance, music, comedy, melodrama, dancing, singing, 
espionage, and most anything else one can think of, may go 
over with undiscriminating audiences fairly well. Discerning 
patrons will certainly find it too ludicrous. Revolving around 
the career of a European ballet dancer, the story, which 
leans heavily on the long arm of coincidence, begins with 
Lee's surrender at Appomattox, jumps to Europe for the 
Prussian-Austrian War, hops back to this country to a 
booming Western town, and finally ends up in San Fran- 
cisco. The action includes such incidents as a sword duel, 
a kidnapping by Western outlaws, piracy, and a runaway 
stagecoach, and, for good measure, one of the characters is 
a Chinese philosopher who speaks with a Scotch accent. 
Ludicrous as it is, the settings are very colorful, and one 
might enjoy it if he were willing to accept the picture for 
what it is — a comic strip story played straight: — 

The Civil War ended, Rod Cameron, a correspondent, 
goes to Berlin, hoping to score a "scoop" on Germany's 
plan to attack Austria. He enlists the aid of Yvonne de 
Carlo, a Viennese dancer, who agrees to accept advances 
from Count Albert Dekker so that she might learn of Ger- 
many's plans. Cameron scores his "scoop," but he and 
Yvonne, accompanied by J. Edward Bromberg, her teacher, 
are forced to flee to America to escape Dekker's wrath. 
Cameron planned to launch Yvonne on a new career in San 



Francisco. En route, they stop at a small Western town, 
where they put on a show to raise funds. The show is in- 
terrupted by David Bruce and his outlaws, who rob the 
audience and kidnap Yvonne. Bruce, however, falls in love 
with Yvonne, and decides to reform. He returns the stolen 
money and joins the group on the trip to San Francisco. 
Arriving there, Cameron and Bruce contrive to have Walter 
Slezak, a wealthy Russian, meet Yvonne. He falls in love 
with her, and offers to sponsor her career. On Yvonne's 
opening night, Dekker arrives, seeking revenge. Bruce kills 
him in a saber duel, then steals a stagecoach to escape the 
law. Pursued and apprehended by Slezak, Bruce learns to 
his surprise that the Russian had used his influence to square 
matters with the police, and that he meant to step out of 
Yvonne's life so that he (Bruce) could have her. 

Laurence Stallings wrote the screen play, Walter Wanger 
produced it, and Charles Lamont directed it. Alexander 
Golitzen was associate producer. The cast includes Marjorie 
Rambeau, Abner Biberman and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"A Medal for Benny" with J. Carrol Naish, 
Dorothy Lamour and Arturo de Cordova 

(Paramount, no release date set; time, 77 min.) 

Well directed and acted, this is an appealing human- 
interest drama, with good touches of comedy, and with a 
timely message to those who are not above capitalizing on 
the fame of a war hero. The story's locale is a Paisano com- 
munity in a small California town, and it revolves around 
an elderly, humble Paisano, who rebuffs the town's big- 
wigs when they attempt to use his dead son's fame for com- 
mercial advantage. Tears and laughter are intermingled in 
the story, and some of the situations are very stirring, as 
for instance the one in which the completely overwhelmed 
Paisano, played superbly by J. Carrol Naish, humbly and 
with dignity receives the Congressional Medal of Honor 
awarded posthumously to his son. There is a strong, ap- 
pealing romance between Dorothy Lamour and Arturo de 
Cordova. Having learned that the dead hero, her sweetheart, 
had been unfaithful to her, Dorothy falls in love with De 
Cordova, but neither declare their love openly lest the truth 
disillusion Naish. Mikhail Rasumny provides some out- 
standing moments as a demonstrative Paisano: — 

Despite De Cordova's efforts to win her love, -Dorothy re- 
mains faithful to Naish's son, "Benny," who had been run 
out of town because of his scrapes with the police. Moreover, 
Dorothy resented De Cordova's capacity for avoiding work, 
and despised him for swindling Naish out of his last dollar 
on schemes that never worked out. But when De Cordova 
confronts her with proof of "Benny's" unfaithfulness, Doro- 
thy realizes and confesses her love for him. Meanwhile 
Naish, on the verge of being evicted from his home for non- 
payment of rent, receives word that his son had died in the 
Philippines, and that he was the nation's number one hero. 
Naish soon finds himself caught in an exciting whirl when 
the town's business men decide to capitalize on the boy's 
fame. They move Naish out of the ramshackle Paisano 
neighborhood and install him in a new home, so that news- 
paper photographs would carry a good impression of the 
town. On the eve of the presentation to him of his son's 
medal, Naish learns that his new-found comfort was only 
temporary, and that his son's heroism was being exploited 
by the town's "Babbits." Disillusioned, he returns to his 
shack and refuses to have anything to do with the celebra- 
tion on the morrow. On the following day, the town's 
leaders are embarrassed no end when the Governor and a 
General arrive to make the presentation. But not so the 
General, who orders his troops to march to Naish's home, 
where he holds the ceremony. De Cordova joins the Army 
and goes off to the war, inspired by Dorothy's love, of which 
Naish knew nothing. 

Frank Butler wrote the screen play, Paul Jones produced 
it, and Irving Pichel directed it. The cast includes Charles 
Dingle, Frank McHugh, Grant Mitchell and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



60 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



April 14, 1945 



"Murder, He Says" with Fred MacMurray 
and Helen Walker 

(Paramount, no release date set; time, 91 min.) 
This comedy-melodrama should go over well with the 
masses, first, because it is fast-moving and very amusing, and 
secondly, because it is different. The action takes place in a 
"Tobacco Road" setting, and it revolves around the homi- 
cidal antics of a wierd hillbilly family whose murderous 
tendencies among themselves and toward strangers would 
be unpleasant were it not for the fact that the story is com- 
pletely illogical and nonsensical. As it is, the situations are so 
incredible and, in many instances, so broadly slapstick, that 
one cannot help laughing at what transpires. For instance, 
one of the lethal means used by the family is a poison that 
causes the victim's body to glow in the dark. The producers 
have employed to good effect standard devices such as hid- 
den doors and secret passages to give the proceedings a 
wierd atmosphere. All in all, it is the sort of picture that 
should attract considerable attention: — 

Fred MacMurray, a public opinion investigator, visits an 
ancient house in the hillbilly country to inquire about the 
mysterious disappearance of a fellow worker. He is assaulted 
by a pair of brawny, moronic twins (both played by Peter 
Whitney) but saved from death by their whip-cracking 
"maw" (Marjorie Main). Others in the family included 
Porter Hall, "Maw's" sixth husband; Jean Heather, her 
dim-witted daughter; and Mabel Paige, the boisterous grand- 
mother, MacMurray learns that the family was trying to 
find out the whereabouts of $70,000, which had been stolen 
by Barbara Pepper, an imprisoned member of the family, 
and entrusted to the grandmother, who refused to reveal 
the hiding place. The hillbillies force MacMurray to pose 
as Barbara's "boy-friend," hoping the grandmother would 
divulge her secret to him. The old lady sees through the 
ruse, but gives him a vague clue just before she dies from 
poisoning. The hillbillies, believing that MacMurray knew 
the secret, threaten to kill him, but he is saved by the 
timely arrival of Helen Walker, posing as Barbara, who 
cows the family with her six-shooter. Actually, Helen was 
the daughter of a bank employee who had been held re- 
sponsible for the $70,000, and she sought to recover the 
money. Helen and MacMurray join forces, constantly ward- 
ing off attempts on their lives. Working out the vague clue 
left by the grandmother, the young couple finally locate the 
money and, after numerous chases, succeed in capturing the 
entire hillbilly clan in a bailing machine. 

Lou Breslow wrote the screen play, E. D. Leshin produced 
it, and George Marshall directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"The Bullfighters" with Laurel and Hardy 

(20th Century-Fox, May; time, 61 min.) 

A fairly amusing program comedy, done in the typical 
Laurel and Hardy manner; it should entertain those who 
enjoy slapstick and nonsensical farce. This time the two 
comedians, as detectives, find themselves in Mexico City, 
where Laurel's resemblance to a famed Spanish matador 
leads them into a series of complications that culminate in 
Laurel facing a ferocious bull in an arena. Some of the slap- 
stick situations are highly amusing, but others become tire- 
some because they are long drawn out. A musical interlude, 
featuring Diosa Costello, comes as a welcome relief: — 

Arriving in Mexico City to track down a curvaceous 
blonde, Laurel and Hardy check in at a fashionable hotel, 
where Laurel, much to his amazement, is welcomed royally 
by the guests. He did not realize that the guests had mis- 
taken him for Don Sebastian (also played by Laurel), a 
famous Spanish bullfighter, whose arrival from Spain was 
expected. Meanwhile Richard Lane, Sebastian's agent, has 
difficulties with Ralph Sanford, a sports promoter, who had 
agreed to sponsor the matador; Sanford had recognized a 
picture of Sebastian as one of two Peoria detectives, who 



were responsible for sending him to jail for a crime he had 
not committed. Lane mollifies Sanford by proving that Se- 
bastian had never been out of Spain. Later at the hotel, 
Lane meets the detectives and mistakes Laurel for his client, 
but he soon realizes his mistake and explains. When word 
comes that Sebastian's arrival would be delayed, Lane com- 
pels Laurel to pose as the matador under threat of notifying 
Sanford, who had vowed to skin both detectives alive if he 
ever caught them. Laurel meets Sanford at a night-club, and 
signs for a bullfight. On the day of the contest, Lane learns 
that Sebastian may not arrive in time. He bullies Laurel into 
agreeing to enter the bull-ring. As he nervously awaits his 
turn, Laurel drinks tequilla and becomes intoxicated. Mean- 
while the real matador shows up unexpectedly and enters 
the ring. His skillful work amazes Hardy and Lane, who 
were under the impression that they were watching Laurel. 
But the hoax is exposed when Laurel, drunk, stumbles into 
the ring. Sanford, recognizing the masquerade, catches the 
two detectives and makes good his threat to skin them alive. 

W. Scott Darling wrote the screen play, William Girard 
produced it, and Mai St. Clair directed it. The cast includes 
Carol Andrews, Ed Gargan and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Scared Stiff" with Jack Haley 
and Ann Savage 

(Paramount, no release date set; time. 63 min.) 

A poor program murder-mystery melodrama, with the 
accent on comedy, most of which is so silly that the spectator 
finds it difficult to refrain from yawning. Few of the pic- 
tures produced by Paramount's Pine-Thomas unit have been 
worthwhile, but this one dips to a new entertainment low. 
The story is extremely thin and utterly confusing, serving 
merely as an excuse for an assortment of odd characters to 
chase each other through the tunnels of a huge wine cellar. 
No fault can be found with the performances, for there is 
not much that the players could do with the material: — 

Jack Haley, chess editor on a newspaper, is constantly 
hounded by his managing editor (Roger Pryor), because of 
his inability to recognize news. Sent to Grape City to cover 
a wine festival, Haley becomes flustered at the bus station 
when he meets Ann Savage, an antique dealer, with whom 
he was infatuated, and he absent-mindedly buys a ticket to 
Grape Center, where she was going. When the bus reaches 
Grape Center, one of the passengers is discovered murdered. 
All the travelers, including Veda Ann Borg, an insurance 
detective, and Robert Emmett Keane, a professor, are herded 
into a tavern owned by a pair of eccentric, elderly twins 
(played by Lucien Littlefield), who were not on speaking 
terms. Haley, having sat next to the murdered man, is sus- 
pected. While waiting for the sheriff to arrive, Ann con- 
fides to Haley that she had come to the tavern to recover 
for a client a valuable set of gold chessmen, owned by the 
twins. The set had been stolen from Ann's client by Barton 
MacLane, a gangster, who had in turn sold them to the 
twins. One of the twins had sold his half of the set to Ann, 
but the other was unwilling to do so. Haley agrees to help 
her complete the sale. Meanwhile MacLane, who had es- 
caped from prison, was in the vicinity bent on getting the 
chessmen for himself. Haley's efforts to buy the other half 
of the set involve him in a series of wierd happenings, which 
finally result in a chase through the tavern's huge wine 
cellar, with all the different characters participating. He 
eventually captures MacLane and the professor, proving 
that they had committed the murder as part of the plan to 
steal the chessmen. The crime solved, Haley telephones his 
editor and, without mentioning what he had been through, 
apologizes for missing his assignment at the wine festival. 

Geoffrey Homes and Maxwell Shane wrote the screen 
play, and Frank McDonald directed it. Mr. Shane was asso- 
ciate producer. The cast includes George E. Stone, Buddy 
Swan and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



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A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 



Vol. XXVII 



SATURDAY, APRIL 21, 1945 



No. 16 



Advertising Tie-Ups in Feature Pictures 



"One of the most interesting, behind'the'scenes 
battles waged in Hollywood," states Jimmie Fidler in 
a recent syndicated column, "receives little publicity. 
I refer to the constant fight of manufacturers to get 
their commodities displayed, as prominently as pos- 
sible, on the screen. 

"Almost every big advertising agency has a Holly 
wood representative whose job it is to see that the 
agency's clients get a maximum amount of such in- 
direct advertising. Several studios have ironclad con- 
tracts which oblige them to use certain products in 
movie-making. One studio employs Cadillacs when a 
script calls for an expensive story; another studio has 
a similar deal with Buick. 

"Manufacturers of electrical home appliances know 
that the casual display of their products in a hit movie 
boosts sales phenomenally. Companies manufacturing 
freshly designed mechanical gadgets of all kinds know 
that there is no more effective, means of introducing 
them to the public than placing them in the hands of 
a movie star. Tourist bureaus and resort owners vie to 
have pictures filmed in the locales in which they are 
interested. 

"Watch the backgrounds and props in the next pic- 
ture you see. You'll be amazed at the number of 'ad- 
vertising tie-ups.' " 

The concealing of advertisements in motion pic- 
tures offered as entertainment to the exhibitors and 
the public is not a new practice. It is an unethical 
practice against which this paper has fought long and 
vigorously. Old subscribers will recall the strenuous 
campaign waged by Harrison's Reports in 1931 
when the producer-distributors, faced with diminish- 
ing receipts, resorted to screen advertising, both spon- 
sored and concealed, in an effort to bolster their weak- 
ened financial structures. 

This paper felt then (and its opinion has not 
changed) that the harm done to the exhibitors by con- 
cealed advertising in entertainment pictures was in- 
calculable; the picture-going public resented paying 
an admission price to see an advertisement, and the 
country's newspapers and national magazines, with- 
out whose good-will the motion picture industry 
would have hard sledding, resented the producer- 
distributors' intrusion into the advertising field. 

This paper's campaign against screen advertising 



was so intense that the nation's leading and most in- 
fluential newspapers rallied to its support with pow- 
erful editorials, which, within a few months, com- 
pelled the producer-distributors to abandon that prac- 
tice. 

Since then, concealed advertising has cropped up in 
pictures occasionally, but each time that it did crop 
up, this paper brought the offense to the attention of 
the exhibitors. 

The latest of these offenses occurs in Metro-Gold- 
wyn-Mayer's, "The Clock." A good part of the action 
in this picture revolves around its two stars, Judy 
Garland and Robert Walker, spending the entire 
night with a Sheffield milk company's driver, who had 
been kind enough to give them a lift when they missed 
their last bus. Not only is the name, Sheffield, on the 
truck kept in plain view of the audience, but the 
action includes a trip to the company's milk depot, 
where a large number of their trucks, with the Shef- 
field name clearly visible, are shown being loaded with 
milk for the night's deliveries. The young couple 
spend the night helping the driver deliver the milk, 
and from time to time other Sheffield trucks appear on 
the scene. 

The Sheffield company, which operates in the New 
York vicinity, is one of the largest milk distributors 
in the country. 

True, the picture's locale is New York City, and it 
may be argued that the use of Sheffield milk trucks 
does nothing but add realism to the atmosphere. But 
does it add any values to the entertainment? If any- 
thing, it will serve to infuriate many a picture-goer, 
who will rightfully feel that he had been imposed 
upon. And an infuriated patron shows his displeasure 
by staying away from the theatres. 

Some one at the MGM studio must have been com- 
pensated in some form for the advertisement given the 
Sheffield company in "The Clock." Whether the 
studio executives know anything about it or not, 
however, this writer is not in a position to say. Per- 
haps some smart advertising agent, such as the type 
Mr. Fidler mentions in his article, was able to sell one 
of the studio men a bill of goods. But regardless of the 
means by which the advertising got into the picture, 
it is bad — bad, not only because the producer uses the 
exhibitors' screens as billboards without their consent, 
but also because the public resents it. 



62 



April 21, 1945 



"Those Endearing Young Charms" with 
Robert Young and Laraine Day 

(RKO, no release date set; time. 82 min.) 

Although the performances by Robert Young and Laraine 
Day are good, this is just a fair drama, revolving around a 
war-time romance. The chief fault lies in the characterization 
of Young, whose actions will displease most spectators. He 
is shown as a smug, deceitful Army pilot, who stoops to 
every conceivable trick to win Laraine's love, his intentions 
being far from honorable. Of course, he eventually falls in 
love with her and sees the error of his ways, but by that time 
the spectator finds it difficult to feel kindly towards him. 
The fact that one's interest is held to a fair degree is due to 
the assembled players, whose performances are far superior 
to the material given them: — 

In love with Laraine Day, a department store clerk, Bill 
Williams, an Air Corps mechanic, boasts about her beauty 
when he meets Lieut. Robert Young, whose reputation for 
jilting girls was well known to his friends. Young talks 
Williams into taking him along to Laraine's home to meet 
her. There, Young uses his natural charm on both Laraine 
and her mother (Ann Harding), and makes a highly favor- 
able impression with Laraine by suggesting that her mother 
accompany them to a night club. The end of the evening 
finds Laraine thoroughly fascinated by Young. Two days 
later, he goes to the department store where she worked and 
uses his charm on the woman floor manager, persuading her 
to let Laraine spend the afternoon with him. He takes her 
to his flying field, where he pretends that he had been 
ordered overseas immediately, and bids her farewell. Laraine, 
deeply in love with him, goes home heartbroken. Later, 
Young telephones her, saying that bad weather had forced 
him back. She impulsively confesses her love for him, and 
agrees to a date that night. Laraine's mother, fearful of 
Young's intentions, contacts Williams and asks him to see 
Young. Williams visits Young and pleads with him to stay 
away from Laraine, but Young tells him to mind his own 
affairs. Impressed by Williams' argument, Young meets 
Laraine and confesses that he had lied to her. Laraine, dis- 
illusioned, leaves him. Awakening to the fact that he had 
fallen in love with her, Young tries desperately to see 
Laraine, but she refuses to talk to him. Laraine's mother, 
convinced that his love was true, and remembering that a 
similar occurrence in her own life years previously had 
caused her untold misery, brings the two together. 

Jerome Chodorov wrote the screen play, Bert Granet 
produced it, and Lewis Allen directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion" 
with Chester Morris 

(Columbia, May 10; time, 67 min.) 

This latest of the "Boston Blackie" crook melodramas is 
a routine program filler, no better and no worse than the 
previous pictures in the series. The story is highly implausi- 
ble, and it follows the usual pattern of Chester Morris being 
suspected of the crime, with additional evidence piling up 
against him as he goes through the process of clearing him- 
self. It has some comedy and suspense. As entertainment, it 
is strictly for those who have not yet tired of the series : — 

To protect Lloyd Corrigan's investment in a rare book 
shop, Chester Morris disguises himself as a famous autioneer 
and sells a rare edition of Dicken's "Pickwick Papers" for 
$62,000. On the following day, the purchaser visits Police 
Inspector Richard Lane and demands an investigation on the 
grounds that the book was a counterfeit. Morris, lest he be 
suspected, starts a search for the man who had sold the book 
to Corrigan. His search takes him to an empty warehouse, 
where he stumbles over the body of the murdered counter- 



feiter, and finds an envelope containing the $62,000 lying 
on the floor. As he tries to reconstruct the crime, Lane arrives 
and arrests him on suspicion of murder. Morris manages to 
escape and, later, learns that Lynn Merrick, an employee at 
the book shop, had been in league with the counterfeiter in 
order to raise money to flee the country with her husband, 
an escaped convict. He learns also that it was she who had 
committed the murder. Lynn, aware that Morris had found 
her out, enlists the aid of her husband to dispose of him. 
After a series of incidents in which Morris foils Lynn's plans 
and manages to elude the police, he traps Lynn and her hus- 
band in their apartment and, at the point of a gun, tricks 
her into signing a confession just as the police arrive to 
arrest him. 

Paul Yawitz wrote the screen play, Michel Kraike pro- 
duced it, and Arthur Dreifuss directed it. The cast includes 
Frank Sully, Steve Cochran, George E. Stone and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"China Sky" with Randolph Scott, 
Ruth Warrick and Ellen Drew 

(RJCO, no release date set; time, 78 mm.) 

A fairly good war melodrama; it should satisfy the rank 
and file. The motivating force behind the development of 
the plot is a strong romantic triangle, revolving around an 
American doctor, his bride, and his loyal woman assistant. 
The treatment of the story is not particularly novel, but it 
holds one's interest well because of the sympathy one feels 
for the doctor and his assistant, whose lives arc made miser- 
able by his scheming, jealous wife. The story takes place in a 
constantly bombed Chinese village, and there is considerable 
exciting action, particularly in the closing scenes, where the 
doctor and the villagers put up a stiff battle against Jap para- 
troopers until saved by Chinese guerilla fighters. The human 
interest element is strong throughout: — 

While waiting for Randolph Scott to return from a trip 
to America for money and medical supplies, Ruth Warrick, 
his assistant, heroically attends to the sick and wounded, 
aided by Chinese doctors and nurses. Ruth, who loved Scott 
secretly, is shocked considerably when he returns with a 
bride, Ellen Drew. She regains her composure and tries to 
make Ellen as comfortable as possible, but the young bride, 
sensing Ruth's love for her husband, becomes hostile towards 
her. The continuous air raids on the village unnerve Ellen, 
and she determines to compel Scott to return to the United 
States with her. Scott, however, informs her that they could 
not leave because they were hemmed in by the Japs. Mean- 
while, Richard Doo, a Japanese colonel, wounded and cap- 
tured by Anthony Quinn, a Chinese guerrilla leader, learns 
that Dr. Philip Ahn, under whose care he had been en- 
trusted, had a Japanese father. Aware of Ellen's desire to 
leave the village, the Jap colonel contrives a plot whereby 
he compels Ahn, under threat of exposing his ancestry, to 
persuade Ellen to send a telegram in her husband's name to 
a Chinese in another city, asking for a passenger plane. 
Ellen, eager to leave the village and to separate Ruth and 
Scott, sends the telegram, unaware that it was, in reality, a 
code message for the Japs to attack the village. A few days 
later, Jap paratroopers descend on the village and, in the 
ensuing battle, in which Quinn's guerrillas wipe them out, 
Ellen is killed as she tries to run for shelter. Scott, having 
realized his love for Ruth, joins her in tending to the 
wounded. 

Brenda Weisberg and Joseph Hoffman wrote the screen 
play, Maurice Geraghty produced it, and Ray Enright di- 
rected it. Jack J. Gross was executive producer. The cast 
includes Carol Thurston, "Duckie" Louie, Benson Fong and 
others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



April 21, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



63 



"Son of Lassie" with Peter Lawford 
and Donald Crisp 

(MGM, no release date set; time, 100 min.) 
If "Lassie Come Home" proved popular with your cus- 
tomers, this sequel should please them even more, for it is a 
first'rate melodrama, packed full of deep human appeal, fast 
and suspensive action, and many exciting thrills. The mag- 
nificence of the outdoor scenes, photographed in Techni- 
color, is breathtaking. This time most of the action takes 
place in Norway, and it revolves around the dog's efforts to 
locate his young master, a R.A.F. flyer shot down by the 
Nazis, and around their eventual escape to England after 
many narrow escapes. The collie dog, who performed so 
splendidly in the first picture, again amazes one by his in- 
telligence and sagacity; he makes every scene in which he 
appears attention-holding. There is an incidental but pleas- 
ing romance. 

In the development of the story, Laddie, a collie pup, is 
shown as the mischevious little pet of Peter Lawford, an 
R.A.F. cadet, whose father (Donald Crisp) was in charge 
of the kennels on Nigel Bruce's estate in Yorkshire. When 
Lawford returns to the estate after a six-months absence, he 
finds that the kennels had been turned into a training post 
for war dogs, and that Laddie, now full-grown, had resisted 
all attempts to make a fighting dog of him. Lawford is 
ordered to a flying field nearby, to which he is followed by 
Laddie, who hides aboard his plane just before he takes off 
on a reconnaissance flight over Norway. The Nazis shoot 
down the plane, and Lawford parachutes to safety with 
Laddie in his arms. His master injured, the dog goes for help 
only to be shot in the leg by a Nazi soldier. Wounded, 
Laddie is found by a group of Norwegian children, who care 
for him until he recovers. Meanwhile Lawford is given 
refuge by Norwegian patriots, but the Nazis eventually 
capture him and take him to a prison camp. Laddie trails 
Lawford to the camp, arriving there just after he had escaped. 
A shrewd prison guard, realizing that Laddie was searching 
for Lawford, takes the dog on a leash. Laddie, of course, 
leads the guard to his master. During a fight, Laddie disarms 
the guard, permitting Lawford to overpower him. Together, 
the boy and dog manage to elude searching parties and, after 
a series of hairbreadth escapes, they commandeer a Nor- 
wegian fishing vessel that returns them safely to England. 

Jeanne Bartlett wrote the screen play, Samuel Marx pro- 
duced it, and S. Sylvan Simon directed it. The cast includes 
June Lockhart, Billy Severn, Leon Ames, Nils Asther and 
others. 

Suitable for all. 



"Zombies on Broadway" with Wally Brown 
and Alan Carney 

(RICO, no release date set; time, 67 min.) 

Mediocre. Taking two-reel material and stretching it to 
feature length is an old device with producers, and this pro- 
gram slapstick comedy is a good example of the practice. 
The story, which revolves around two Broadway press agents 
who go to a tropical island in search of a "Zombie," is a 
burlesque treatment of this old horror theme. The result, 
however, is indifferent, for the story lacks sufficient material 
to sustain the laughs. Wally Brown and Alan Carney have 
the making of a good comedy team, but RKO has yet to 
furnish them with decent material. Set this comedy down as 
one that might appeal to the youngsters but will probably 
bore their elders: — 

To publicize a new night-club owned by Sheldon Leonard, 
a gangster, Brown and Carney promise to produce a live 
Zombie on opening night, and secretly employ a Negro 
friend to act as the Zombie. When a radio commentator, 
hostile to Leonard, threatens to expose the stunt unless a 
real Zombie is produced, the gangster compels Carney and 



Brown to sail to the Virgin Islands to secure one. Arriving 
there, the boys meet Anne Jeffreys, a cafe singer, who offers 
to lead them into the jungle in search of a Zombie in return 
for her passage back to New York. Meanwhile, in a jungle 
castle, Bela Lugosi, a scientist, was experimenting with a 
serum to create Zombies, and he was in need of white people 
to continue his work. One of Lugosi's servants, having seen 
Brown, Carney, and Anne enter the jungle, captures the 
trio and brings them to the castle. Lugosi innoculates Carney 
and turns him into a Zombie before all three, aided by a 
monkey who steals Lugosi's hypodermic needle, manage to 
escape. Elated over the fact that Carney was a real Zombie, 
Brown returns with him to New York, arriving on the open- 
ing night of the club. There, the effect of the serum wears 
off, and Carney reverts to his normal self. Leonard, in- 
furiated, prepares to kill both press agents, but Anne, using 
the hypodermic needle stolen by the monkey, injects it into 
Leonard and turns him into a Zombie. It all ends with 
Leonard being paraded before the night-club's patrons. 

Lawrence Kimble wrote the screen play, Ben Stoloff pro- 
duced it, and Gordon Douglas directed it. The cast includes 
Frank Jenks, Louis Jean Heydt and others. 



"Flame of the Barbary Coast" with 
John Wayne and Ann Dvorak 

(Republic, release date not set; time, 91 min.) 

A good melodrama with music. It has been given an ex- 
pensive production. Based on San Francisco's famed Barbary 
Coast at the turn of the century, the story is somewhat 
familiar, but it holds one's interest well because of the 
competent direction and acting. Moreover, it contains the 
type of tense melodramatic action the average picture-goer 
enjoys. In addition, it has some especially good songs that 
are sung effectively by Ann Dvorak. The scenes depicting 
the disastrous 1906 San Francisco earthquake are particu- 
larly impressive. John Wayne, as a Montana cattleman, 
makes a strong, hard-hitting hero, while Joseph Shildkraut, 
as a "gentleman" gambler, is properly sly and smooth-talk- 
ing. Their hectic rivalry for the love of Miss Dvorak result 
in many tense moments: — 

Visiting Shildkraut's gambling palace to collect $500 the 
gambler owed him, Wayne decides to try his luck at the 
gaming tables. Fascinated by the brawny westerner, Ann 
Dvorak, Shildkraut's fiancee and singing star, offers to serve 
as his guide. He wins heavily, but later, Shildkraut plies him 
with liquor and, through crooked cards, wins back the 
money. On the following morning, Wayne learns that Ann 
had played up to him to make Shildkraut jealous, and that 
the gambler had tricked him out of his winnings. He goes 
back to his cattle ranch, where he learns the art of crooked 
gambling from a professional. After acquiring a new bank- 
roll, Wayne returns to San Francisco to beat Shildkraut at 
his own game. He wins a fortune, and decides to remain in 
San Francisco to win Ann, too. In order to impress her, he 
invests his money in the construction of a competitive 
gambling palace opposite Shildkraut's, and induces Ann to 
appear as the star of his show. On opening night, Shild- 
kraut and his henchmen plan to start trouble, but they are 
forestalled by an earthquake, which makes a shambles of 
the Barbary Coast. Ann, injured, is saved by Wayne, and 
she begins to realize her love for him. As the city recovers 
from the disaster, Shildkraut, a political power, seeks to gain 
control over the election of a new mayor. Wayne, drafted 
by the city's leading citizens, enters the political battle, and 
in a final showdown wins both the election and Ann. 

Borden Chase wrote the screen play, and Joseph Kane 
produced and directed it. The cast includes William Fraw- 
ley, Virginia Grey, Russell Hicks, Jack Norton, Paul Fix 
and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



64 



< HARRISON'S REPORTS 



April 21, 1945 



"Patrick the Great" with Donald O'Connor 
and Peggy Ryan 

(Universal, May 4; time, 88 min.) 
An entertaining comedy with music. In spite of the fact 
that it offers little in the way of novelty, it has a simple but 
pleasing story, and the breezy comedy mood that is sustained 
throughout makes it enjoyable. Donald O'Connor i6 as ver- 
satile as ever and, though he dominates the proceedings, one 
never tires of him. Peggy Ryan, his youthful partner, is 
typically exuberant, and together they make a very engaging 
team, particularly when they sing and dance. The music is 
pleasant: — 

Gavin Muir, a London producer, attends a backstage 
party in honor of Donald Cook, a musical comedy star, at 
the insistence of Thomas Gomez, Cook's manager. Gomez 
wanted Muir to give Cook the leading role in his new show. 
At the party, Muir meets Donald O'Connor, Cook's son, an 
irrepressible youngster with his father's flair for acting. Muir 
surprises the boy by accepting his invitation to visit a sum- 
mer theatre, where he and Peggy Ryan, his girl-friend, were 
training for theatrical careers. Impressed with O'Connor's 
talents, Muir offers him the lead in his new show. O'Connor, 
unaware that his father expected to play the lead, rushes to a 
mountain resort, where Cook was vacationing, to tell him of 
the good news. There, he learns from Andrew Tombes, 
Cook's valet, that his father expected to play the part. Al- 
though bitterly disappointed, O'Connor notifies Muir that he 
could not accept the part. Later, O'Connor makes the ac- 
quaintance of Frances Dee, a glamorous food expert vaca- 
tioning at the resort, and mistakes her interest in him for 
love, much to the annoyance of Peggy. The situation be- 
comes complicated when O'Connor introduces his father to 
Frances and both fall in love; neither one wanted to hurt 
O'Connor's feelings. It all turns out for the best, however, 
when Cook, learning that his son had given up the leading 
role in Muir's show, announces his engagement to Frances 
and informs Muir that his honeymoon would not leave him 
time to accept the lead in his show. He urges Muir to give 
the role to O'Connor. On opening night, Cook and Frances 
watch O'Connor score a huge success on Broadway. 

Bertram Millhauser and Dorothy Bennett wrote the screen 
play, Howard Benedict produced it, and Frank Ryan directed 
it. The cast includes Eve Arden, Irving Bacon and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"The Vampire's Ghost" with John Abbott 
and Charles Gordon 

(Republic, no release date set; time, 59 min.) 
Mediocre program fare. As indicated by the title, this is 
another one of those fantastic tales that deal with medieval 
superstitions and the supernatural. This time the story is set 
in an African jungle, and the usual eerie effects are em- 
ployed to give the proceedings a wierd touch, but what trans- 
pires has been done so many times that the general effect is 
weak. As a matter of fact, one is inclined to laugh at situa- 
tions that are not meant to be funny. Juvenile audiences and 
the really undiscriminating horror-picture fans may find it 
acceptable, but others will probably find it conducive to 
sleep : — 

A series of murders in a small African town stirs consid- 
erable unrest among the superstitious natives, who attribute 
them to a vampire. Charles Gordon, official of a large rubber 
plantation and fiance of Peggy Stewart, daughter of the 
town's leading citizen, decides to travel into the jungle to 
pacify the natives. He is accompanied by John Abbott, mys- 
terious owner of a waterfront saloon, who had arrived in the 
town in recent months. Abbott, a suave personality, had in- 
gratiated himself with Gordon and Peggy. During the jour- 
ney, hostile natives shoot at Gordon's party, and a bullet 



passes through Abbott's body without drawing blood or 
harming him. Revealed as a vampire, Abbott confesses to 
Gordon that he had roamed the world for over four hundred 
years, living on the blood of others. Lest Gordon reveal his 
secret, Abbott hypnotizes him into silence. They return to 
town, where Peggy attributes Gordon's hypnotic condition 
to jungle fever. Helpless to fight back, Gordon watches 
Abbott fall in love with Peggy, knowing that his interest in 
her will eventually end in her death. The village priest 
(Grant Withers) takes Gordon in hand, and through 
prayers helps him to free himself from Abbott's power. 
Meanwhile Abbott had fled into the jungle, taking with him 
Peggy, who was completely hypnotized. Gordon and a party 
of searchers pursue him. Abbott leads Peggy to a pagan 
temple in a deserted village, where he planned to sacrifice 
her life so that she could live with him through eternity. His 
plan is foiled by the timely arrival of Gordon, who rescues 
Peggy and sets fire to the temple. Abbott perishes in the 
flames. 

John K. Butler and Leigh Brackett wrote the screen play, 
Rudolph E. Abel produced it, and Lesley Selander directed 
it. The cast includes Emmett Vogan, Adcle Mara and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"The Phantom Speaks" with Richard Arlen 
and Stanley Ridges 

(Republic, no release date set; time, 68 min.) 
Like "The Vampire's Ghost," reviewed elsewhere on this 
page, this, too, deals with the supernatural, but it is more 
interesting than that picture, and it should make a fairly 
good supporting feature. Revolving around a scientist who 
proves to himself that the dead can communicate with the 
living, the story is, of course, fantastic. Yet it holds one's 
interest throughout, because the scientist, influenced by the 
spirit of a vindictive murderer, is compelled to kill the dead 
criminal's enemies. One is held in considerable suspense be- 
cause of the unwilling scientist's inability to resist the spirit's 
will power, and of the mystification the murders cause the 
police: — 

On the eve of his execution, Tom Powers, a surly, vindic- 
tive murderer, is visited in his cell by Stanley Ridges, a 
kindly scientist, whose life studies had been devoted to the 
theory that the dead can communicate with the living. He 
asks Powers to aid him by exercising his unusually strong 
will power in an effort to return after death. Soon after the 
execution, Ridges is secretly thrilled when Powers' spirit con- 
tacts him, proving his theory correct. His satisfaction, how- 
■ ever, soon turns to horror when Powers informs him that he 
intends to use him as a tool to gain revenge on those respon- 
sible for his conviction. The scientist revolts against the plan, 
but the spirit proves his ability to take possession of Ridges' 
body and mind at will. In the grasp of Powers' sinister spirit, 
the helpless scientist is forced to kill three persons. In each 
murder, clues point so conclusively to the seemingly impos- 
sible fact that the electrocuted criminal was the killer that 
the police are completely mystified. Richard Arlen, a re- 
porter, who was in love with Ridges' daughter (Lynne Rob- 
erts), and who knew of Ridges' theory, stumbles across 
evidence pointing to the scientist as the killer. He reluctantly 
trails Ridges and, after a series of strange events in which he 
himself is almost murdered, confirms his suspicions. Arlen 
turns his information over to the authorities, who apprehend 
the half-crazed scientist and make him pay with his life for 
the murders Powers' spirit had instigated. 

John K. Butler wrote the screen play, Donald H. Brown 
produced it, and John English directed it. The cast includes 
Charlotte Wynters, Jonathan Hale, Pierre Watkin, Marian 
Martin and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



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Vol. XXVII 



SATURDAY, APRIL 28, 1945 



No. 17 



The Future of Color in Motion Pictures 



As a result of the success that the 16-mm. Koda- 
chrome film has attained, the Hollywood studios have 
been experimenting on shooting feature pictures in 
16-mm. film and then enlarging them to 3 5 -mm. for 
regular theatre exhibition. Some of the war films were 
photographed on 16-mm. Kodachrome film and then 
enlarged. The results were fairly satisfactory, but 
not satisfactory enough for them to become of gen- 
eral use. 

The Technicolor process employs three negatives, 
the color prints from which are superimposed in the 
final printing. Such a process, not only is highly ex- 
pensive, but also requires skillful mechanics, both for 
the special camera work and in the laboratory. For 
this reason, the producers hoped that eventually a 
process employing only one negative in an ordinary 
camera would be developed. 

The Eastman Kodak company has developed such 
a process, called Monopack, by combining all the 
colors into one negative, from which color positives 
may be printed. But it could not become available to 
the industry until after the war. In the meantime, the 
Technicolor company is understood to have obtained 
the exclusive rights to the Eastman Monopack film. 

But by obtaining such rights, Technicolor loosed 
upon itself the anti-trust forces of the Department of 
Justice, which, according to reports in the trade 
papers, has been investigating the company to find 
out if it is operating in violation of the anti-trust laws. 
The aim of the Department of Justice may be to bene- 
fit the entire industry, by making the Kodachrome 
Monopack process available to every producer of mo- 
tion pictures. 

Harrison's Reports believes that, when the color 
process becomes simplified and cheaper than the pres- 
ent color processes, every feature picture and most 
shorts will be photographed in color. This is bound 
to introduce into the industry a new cycle. 

In a desire to obtain the latest information on the 
progress of color pictures, Harrison's Reports again 
went to the scientist who has been aiding it all these 
years on all technical subjects that are related to pic- 
ture production and exhibition, such as, for example, 
sound, television, third dimension pictures and other 
subjects. The following represents the viewpoint of 
this scientist, presented for the benefit of the readers 
of Harrison's Reports : 

'The public has responded well to color. There is 
no doubt that, if good color is reliably available with- 
out excessive added costs, it will pay the producers 
and exhibitors to offer color more generally to the 



public. A story can often be told more picturesquely 
through the use of color and dramatic effects are fre- 
quently superior when color is used. Good color also 
makes a picture more natural, and adds attractiveness 
particularly to the appearance of younger actors and 
actresses. 

"But there are a number of points which the ex' 
hibitor will have to keep in mind in connection with 
color. One of them is the quality of the sound on 
color prints. It is generally harder to produce a good 
sound track on a color print than on a black-and-white 
print because the processing and developing of color 
prints is a complicated job. Every processing step has 
to be taken to favor correct color; this may make it 
difficult to get high-quality sound track particularly 
in the case of variable-density prints. We do not imply 
that this is necessarily the case but we do point out 
that that will be required in connection with good 
sound on color prints. Furthermore, unless the sound 
track is uniform with that on black-and-white prints 
on the same program, the projectionist must change 
the sound level skilfully when going into and out of 
color projection. 

"One of the problems that has faced the producers 
in connection with color is the processing problem. 
The available processes are carried out in only a few 
laboratories in the United States, which involves 
shipping negatives to and from these laboratories and 
securing release prints exclusively from them. It is 
important that laboratories for processing color pic- 
tures, and particularly for making the positive release 
prints, shall be widely scattered around the United 
States and shall cooperate fully with the local ex- 
changes. This may involve simplification of color-film 
processing but it is a necessary step in the wider com- 
mercialisation of color. 

"As matters stand, color pictures are more ex- 
pensive than black-and-white pictures. The reason for 
this is that color has a number of problems and added 
costs which are not involved in black and white. Thus, 
the sets in the studio must be of correct and interest- 
ing color. Outdoor scenes have to be taken at the right 
season of the year or under a type of sunlight or 
cloud light suitable for color effects. 

"The lighting in the studio must also be more pow- 
erful than for black and white because color processes 
require five to ten times as much light (or exposure) 
as black and white. Crowding a sufficient number of 
powerful lights into the studio is sometimes a prob- 
lem, because of the air-conditioning demands as well 
as of space limitations. 

(Continued on last page) 



66 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



April 28, 1945 



"Wonder Man" with Danny Kaye 
and Virginia Mayo 

(RKO, no release date set; time, 96 min.) 

An hilarious comedy. Danny Kaye's versatility 
makes it highly entertaining and, if one is to judge 
from the continuous laughter by those who attended 
the exhibitor trade show in this city, the picture 
should prove to be an outstanding box-office success. 
Kaye is cast as twin brothers, one a brash night-club 
performer, and the other a studious chap. The comedy 
is caused by the complications that enter the life of 
the studious one when his brother, murdered by gang- 
sters, returns as a ghost and compels him to take his 
place so as to bring the gangsters to justice. The story 
is, of course, fantastic, and the action is silly, but very 
entertainingly so, for the situations are extremely 
comical, and Kaye is given ample opportunity to dis- 
play his unique comedy talents. As a matter of fact, 
without him the picture would be just another musi- 
cal. It has been produced on a lavish scale and photo- 
graphed in Technicolor: — 

On the eve of his marriage to Midge ( Vera-Ellen) , 
his dancing partner, Buzzy Bcllew (Kaye) is mur- 
dered by two henchmen of a notorious gangster; 
Buzzy was a witness to a killing perpetrated by the 
gangster. Shortly after Buzzy 's body is dumped into 
a park lake, Edwin Dingle (also Kaye), his scholarly 
twin brother, from whom he had been separated for 
many years, hears a voice instruct him to go to the 
park. There he is met by Buzzy 's ghost, who explains 
his murder and insists that Edwin impersonate him 
so that he could deliver to the District Attorney (Otto 
Kruger) the evidence needed to convict the gangster. 
Edwin refuses, but the ghost, by entering Edwin's 
body, proves that he can compel his scholarly brother 
to act gay and brash. Edwin proceeds to impersonate 
Buzzy and, whenever he finds himself in a situation 
foreign to him, he is saved by the timely appearance 
of his ghost twin. Edwin soon finds himself in a jam 
with Virginia Mayo, a librarian, with whom he was in 
love; Midge, who, believing him to be Buzzy, expected 
him to marry her; and the gangster, who, too, mistook 
him for Buzzy and wanted him killed once again. 
Edwin is eventually compelled to flee from the gang- 
ster's henchmen (Allen Jenkins and Edward Brophy) , 
who chase him through the streets of New York and 
corner him backstage at the Metropolitan Opera 
House. There, Edwin masquerades as a grand opera 
baritone, and by singing the story of the gangsters' 
murders to the District Attorney seated in a box, he 
succeeds in having them captured. Buzzy 's spirit 
satisfied, Edwin resumes his normal, placid life. 

Don Hartman, Melville Shavelson, and Philip Rapp 
wrote the screen play, Samuel Goldwyn produced it, 
and Bruce Humberstone directed it. The cast includes 
Donald Woods, S. Z. Sakall, the Goldwyn Girls and 
others. Unobjectionable morally. 

"Escape in the Desert" with Philip Dorn, 
Helmut Dantine and Jean Sullivan 

(Warner Bros., May 19; time, 79 min.) 
Fair. Although decidedly inferior to the original, 
this remake of "The Petrified Forest" should go over 
fairly well with the undiscriminating action fans, for 
the melodramatic action is quite exciting. It is, how- 
ever, of program grade. Patrons familiar with the play 
may find the picture disappointing, for the story lacks 
the emotional quality and philosophical content of the 
original. This time the hero is a Dutch flier, and the 
villains, instead of gangsters, are escaped Nazi prison- 



ers of war. The setting, an inn in the Arizona desert, 
remains the same. As in the original, the excitement is 
caused by the villains' keeping the inn's occupants 
prisoners while waiting for an opportunity to escape 
a police dragnet, and by the efforts of the occupants 
to get word to the outside. The closing scenes, where 
the Nazis are captured and the Dutch flier gives vent 
to his feelings against Nazi bestiality by whipping the 
leader, reach a high pitch of excitement. There is some 
comedy and a romance: — 

Philip Dorn, a Dutch flier hitchhiking across the 
United States to see the country prior to his joining 
an Allied Air Force, is given a lift by Samuel H. 
Hinds, elderly owner of an inn in Death Valley, who 
mistakes him for one of four escaped Nazi prisoners, 
known to be in the vicinity. Arriving at the inn, Hinds 
telephones the authorities, but he regrets his action 
when Dorn establishes his identity. Jean Sullivan, 
Hinds' granddaughter, who was tired of living in the 
desert, becomes infatuated with Dorn and begs him to 
take her away with him, much to the annoyance of 
Bill Kennedy, the inn's handyman, who was in love 
with her. Dorn, though drawn to Jean, decides to 
leave without her. Back on the open road, he is inter- 
cepted by the escaped Nazis (Helmut Dantine, Kurt 
Kruger, Hans Schumm, and Rudolph Anders), who 
had hi-jacked a passing truck. They force Dorn to 
lead them back to the inn, where they planned to 
secure clothes, weapons, and a car with gas to take 
them to the Mexican border. Discovering the gas 
tanks dry, and learning that a delivery would be made 
late that evening, the Nazi decide to wait. They make 
the inn's occupants their prisoners, treating them 
brutally. Dorn manages to get out of the inn to the 
safety of an adjacent mine, and urges a passing motor- 
ist to notify the sheriff. When the gasoline truck 
arrives, Dantine and his men prepare to leave, but the 
arrival of the sheriff and his men stops them. Using 
the inn's occupants as hostages, Dantine tries to make 
a deal for his escape, but Dorn, aided by the sheriff, 
subdues and captures the Nazis. 

Thomas Job wrote the screen play, Alex Gottlieb 
produced it, and Edward A. Blatt directed it. The 
cast includes Alan Hale, Irene Manning, Blayney 
Lewis and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Mr. Muggs Rides Again" with 
the East Side Kids 

(Monogram, June 8; time, 64 min.) 

The followers of the "East Side Kid" pictures 
should find this latest in the series acceptable program 
fare. Although the story is a re-hash of a horse-racing 
plot that has been done many times, and although the 
treatment is conventional, it has enough human in- 
terest, awakened by the friendship between the 
"Kids" and a small stable owner, and enough comedy 
and excitement to satisfy those who are not too fussy 
about story material. The usual complications, which 
show the hero being barred from racing because of a 
crooked gambler's machinations only to be reinstated 
in time to ride his horse to victory, occur: — 

After refusing to "throw" a race for George 
Meeker, a crooked gambler, Leo Gorcey, a jockey, is 
framed by Meeker's assistant (Bernard Thomas) , so 
that it appears that he had won the race dishonestly. 
The stewards bar Gorcey from the track. Just as 
Gorcey and his friends (the "East Side Kids") pre- 
pare to return to New York, they learn that Meeker 
had engineered a sheriff's sale in an attempt to win 



April 28, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



67 



possession of Storm Cloud, a prize horse, owned by 
Minerva Urecal, a small stable owner, who owed 
Meeker a feed bill. The "Kids" thwart Meeker's plan 
by paying the bill, but Miss Urecal insists that they 
take with them Sweet Alice, her other horse, as 
security for their loan. The "Kids" bring the horse 
to their East Side clubroom, where they soon find 
themselves in trouble with the city's Health Depart' 
ment. They are saved from arrest by the timely arrival 
of Miss Urecal, now prosperous, who takes them back 
to the track to help train Storm Cloud for a big race, 
the winning of which would help her to retire. Lest 
Storm Cloud win the race and cause him to lose heav 
ily, Meeker dopes the horse, forcing it to be with' 
drawn from the race. Meanwhile Thomas, Meeker's 
henchman, falls in love with Nancy Brinckman, Miss 
Urecal's niece, who induces him to leave the gambler 
and to confess the plot that had barred Gorcey as a 
jockey. Reinstated, Gorcey persuades Miss Urecal to 
substitute Sweet Alice for Storm Cloud. He rides 
the horse to victory. 

Harvey Gates wrote the screen play, Sam Katsman 
and Jack Diets produced it, and Wallace Fox directed 
it. The cast includes Hunts Hall, Billy Benedict, 
Pierre Watkin and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Hitchhike to Happiness" with Al Pearce, 
Dale Evans and Brad Taylor 

(Republic, no release date set; time, 72 min.) 

Just a minor program musical, best suited for the 
lower-half of a mid-week double bill. Very little 
novelty has been used in the development of the moss- 
covered plot, and the action is slow because of an over- 
abundance of dialogue. Al Pearce, a good comedian, 
tries hard to make his part effective, but he, as the 
others, is hampered by the weak material. The best 
that can be said for it is that it has a few "catchy" 
melodies, sung pleasantly by Dale Evans : — 

Dale Evans, a star radio singer, returns from Holly- 
wood to New York to visit the people she had known 
before gaining fame. She visits a restaurant owned by 
Al Pearce, a good-natured fellow, who had often 
aided her in bad times. Unaware that she was the 
famous "Alice Chase" (her radio name) , Pearce of- 
fers to help her once again. Dale, without revealing 
her identity, declines his offer. In the restaurant, she 
meets and falls in love with Brad Taylor, a struggling 
songwriter, whose melodies thrilled her. Meanwhile 
Pearce, whose ambition it was to become a playwright, 
becomes the victim of a cruel gag when three of his 
Broadway "friends" trick Willy Trenk, a prominent 
Hungarian producer, into buying a play written by 
him; they had represented Pearce as a brilliant 
playwright. When Trenk learns of the fraud, he 
threatens to sue Pearce for the financial advance he 
had given him. Pearce, however, tricked by his 
"friends," had spent the money. To help Pearce out 
of his predicament, Taylor suggests to Dale that she 
impersonate "Alice Chase," the radio star, to simu- 
late Trenk's interest in Pearce's play by pretending an 
interest in it herself. Dale, still hiding her identity, 
accepts the suggestion and manages to obtain Trenk's 
promise to back the show, offering to play the leading 
role herself. Taylor, learning that Dale was "Alice 
Chase," believes that she had been kidding him; he 
leaves her. Although unhappy over Taylor's disap- 
pearance, Dale does her utmost to put the show in 
shape. On opening night, she appears as a guest star 
on a radio program and sings one of Taylor's senti' 



mental ballads in the hope that he would hear it and 
return to her. He does, in time to witness the show's 
success. 

Jack Townley wrote the screen play, Donald H. 
Brown produced it, and Joseph Santley directed it. 
The cast includes William Frawley, Jerome Cowan 
and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"Blood on the Sun" with James Cagney 
and Sylvia Sidney 

Very good ! It is a real thriller, with James Cagney 
cast in the sort of role that will delight his fans. The 
action takes place in Japan in 1928, and it revolves 
around the efforts of a fearless American newspaper' 
man to smuggle out of the country a secret Japanese 
plan for world conquest. It is a tale of murder and 
Japanese trickery, in which Cagney, as the newspaper- 
man, uses his fists freely and often resorts to judo in 
his dauntless fight to overcome the Japs' efforts to re- 
cover the document, the existence of which they could 
not admit. Some of the situations make one's hair 
stand on end and, though the story is somewhat far- 
fetched, it is fast-moving, interesting, and holds one 
in suspense from start to finish. Cagney 's romance 
with Sylvia Sydney, a glamorous Eurasian spy, pro- 
vides a steady undercurrent of excitement, since one 
cannot tell until towards the finish which side she was 
on. The action has some good comedy : — 

Cagney, managing editor of an English-language 
newspaper in Tokyo, learns of the Jap plan for world 
conquest and publishes the story, arousing the indig- 
nation of Jap officials, who deny the existence of such 
a plan. Through a series of incidents in which Wallace 
Ford, his best friend and reporter, is murdered by the 
Imperial Secret Police, Cagney obtains the only copy 
of the plan. But he is compelled to conceal it when the 
police arrive at his home suddenly. He is beaten and 
taken to jail. On the following morning, upon his re- 
lease, Cagney determines to report Ford's murder to 
the American Embassy, but when the Japs blandly 
deny his accusations, and even prove that he had been 
arrested because of a drunken brawl, Cagney realises 
the futility of pressing his claim. He returns to his 
home to recover the concealed plan only to find that 
it had been stolen. Later, when he is summoned to the 
home of the Jap premier, who tactfully suggests that 
he return the plan, Cagney realises that some one un- 
known to either the Japs or himself had the plan. 
Bluffing, Cagney offers to produce the plan when the 
murderers of his friend are convicted for the crime. 
Sylvia Sydney, a beautiful Eurasian spy, is ordered by 
the premier to become friendly with Cagney in an 
effort to recover the plan. Cagney falls in love with 
her and, after finding cause to suspect her, learns that 
she had the plan in her possession and that, in reality, 
she was a Chinese agent who had cleverly gained the 
premier's confidence. When Sylvia's duplicity is 
found out by the Japs, Cagney, in a series of swift- 
moving events, manages to get her aboard an Amer- 
ican freighter with the plan. Then, to make good her 
escape, he becomes involved in a bloody struggle with 
the Imperial police, who finally shoot him down at 
the gates of the American Embassy, where wounded 
but still alive he is given refuge. 

Lester Cole wrote the screen play, William Cagney 
produced it, and Frank Lloyd directed it. The cast 
includes Porter Hall, John Emery, Robert Armstrong, 
Rhys Williams and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. *(United Artists, 94 min.) 



G8 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



April 28, 1945 



"The costumes of the actors in color pictures must 
of course be more carefully selected to be in color 
harmony with the surroundings, or to be realistic, as 
the case may be. This sometimes prevents the use of 
available material. 

"And makeup is a more difficult problem, as is clear 
enough in looking at some of the more clumsy and 
unpleasant effects which one occasionally sees in color 
pictures where the wrong sort of makeup has been 
used. 

"Since color pictures require so much more light in 
the studio than black-and-white pictures, stopping 
down the lens is not often practical, and accordingly 
depth of focus in color pictures is often badly limited. 
This leads to a certain amount of trouble in patching 
closeups, medium shorts, and long shots. While there 
are ways of getting around this difficulty, they have 
not as yet come into practice in the studios. Quite a 
few color pictures have had to avoid real depth in the 
sets, with any foreground action, for this reason. 

"Some types of stories are much more suitable for 
color than others. Pageant pictures, musical comedies, 
and Westerns naturally give good results, if well 
handled. The 'society' comedy, or usual dramatic pro- 
duction gains less from color except if the color is very 
skilfully used. Accordingly the story should be care 
fully examined for color effects in order to get the 
greatest possible advantage through the use of color. 

"Further, those who plan the sets and costumes 
must have artistic taste and a knowledge of public 
preferences and responses to color. Some of the color 
pictures show a sad lack of any wise planning in this 
respect. But doubtless there will be found competent 
artists, who can handle this problem. 

"All in all, the production of a color picture is a 
bigger job than a black-and-white picture, and it is 
not astonishing that it costs more at the present time. 
However, with added experience, it should be pos- 
sible to keep the cost of a color picture not too far 
above that of a black-and-white picture. 

"In the theater the color pictures require more care 
in handling for successful presentation. A good 
bright screen is necessary if color pictures are to 
'sparkle' and to show the full value of the color process 
— particularly for the blue and green tints. Further- 
more, the projectionist must focus color pictures ex' 
tremely carefully to get the best effects, because an 
out-of-focus color picture looks far more 'smeary' 
than a black-and-white picture and, in addition, shows 
false color rims around objects. 

"Since color prints are more expensive than black- 
and-white prints, they have to be particularly care- 
fully handled by the projectionist, else the exhibitor 
will face a considerable bill for damaged film. 

"One question which may come up when color be- 
comes more generally used is whether some of the 
stars have good coloring and therefore show up well 
in color pictures. It is not certain that all stars who 
have done well in black-and-white pictures will be 
'chromogenic,' that is, attractive when shown in color. 
Those stars who are chromogenic will of course have 
a great advantage in that respect just as did the stars 
who were able to speak clearly at the time that the 
silent pictures went out and the talking movies came 
in. 

"In selecting youngsters for future film stars or star- 
lets, the producers should look out for those who are 



particularly attractive in color. It will be easier to ex- 
ploit these stars both in the trailers and the features. 

"One of the reasons why color has gone forward 
rather slowly, apart from the difficulty of producing 
good color pictures, is the cost of the negative and the 
release prints. It is easy to add hundreds of thousands 
of dollars to the cost of production of a black-and- 
white picture by putting it into color, particularly if 
costs are not closely controlled. As matters stand, 
color prints for the theater cost several times as much 
as those for black and white. It is practically certain 
that they will never be as low in cost as the present 
black-and-white prints. 

"There are at least four major color processes which 
may be useful for postwar theater work. One of these 
of course is Technicolor. In Technicolor, until re- 
cently, a special camera of the color-separation type 
was necessary. It was a costly and ingenious instru- 
ment, which some seemed to find less convenient than 
the standard studio camera for black-and-white. But 
recently there have been produced 'monopack' pro- 
cesses which provide a single-magazine film that can 
be used in any ordinary camera. This is a great step 
forward so far as convenience is concerned, particu- 
larly providing such monopack film can be developed 
locally by the producer in his own laboratory and that 
release prints can be made conveniently in various 
parts of the country. The question of high-quality 
dupe negatives also requires study in this connection. 

"The Eastman Company has produced Kodachrome 
film which enables excellent originals to be made on 
film of any size. Some of the 16-mm. Government 
pictures on Kodachrome have been extremely good 
and indicate that monopack processes of the Koda- 
chrome type should be satisfactory for 35-mm. original 
negatives and release prints. Since all the color pro- 
cesses are likely to be further improved after the war, 
this prospect seems particularly hopeful. 

"The Agfa-Ansco color film is understood also to 
be a good product, which should be available for 
35-mm. purposes sometime after the war. It has been 
rumored that the DuPont Company also has a mono- 
pack process available. 

"It looks as if good monopack negative processes 
will be available to the producers after the war and 
will enable making high-quality release prints. It is 
to be hoped that there will be healthy technical and 
commercial competition between the various groups 
so that each of them may produce a superior product 
and at a lower cost. 

"Judging from present indications, it will not be 
many years before most or all of the A pictures will 
be in color. Putting the B pictures into color will take 
more time and will await lowered production, nega- 
tive, and print costs for color work. 

"It is a good idea for the motion-picture industry 
to go to color as fast as the industry can afford to do 
so and to deliver a high-grade product in color. Tele- 
vision is no longer 'around the corner' — and this 
means that the theaters should have the best possible 
product. Television will probably be in black and 
white for a number of years to come and there is no 
reason why the theaters should not maintain their 
lead in the color field during that period. To do so 
means public satisfaction and increased returns to 
the industry." 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 187S. 



Harrison's Reports 

Yearly Subscription Rates: 1270 SIXTH AVENUE Published Weekly by 

United States $15.00 R™ m 1«12 Harrison's Reports, Inc., 

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35c a Copy Columns, if It is to Benefit the Exhibitor. 

A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 

Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, MAY 5, 1945 No. 18 



CALLING MR. TOM CONNORS 

The following, in part, is from a bulletin dated 
April 30, issued by Allied States Association of Mo- 
tion Picture Exhibitors: 

"WHAT HAPPENED TO CALL OF THE 
WILD? 

"Numerous trusting exhibitors, relying on 20th 
Century-Fox work sheets and sales talks, signed ap- 
plications for groups of pictures including the Clark 
Gable re-issue 'Call of the Wild, 1 only to find this 
picture had been omitted from the approved con- 
tract. This happened not once, but twice. 

"One exhibitor leader recently wired Tom Con- 
nors, Fox's Vice-President in charge of World Dis- 
tribution, charging that prints of the picture are rest- 
ing on the shelves of the exchanges, adding: 'In 
view of the critical raw stock situation ... we think 
an explanation is due not only to those who bought 
this picture in good faith, but also to the War Produc- 
tion Board. 1 

"This phase of the matter properly is an issue be- 
tween 20th Century and Mr. Stanley Adams of 
W.P.B. It is hoped that this official will inquire into 
the facts. 

"But more is involved than a possible waste of raw 
stock. A Clark Gable picture — even a re-issue — 
would be manna to many picture-starved exhibitors. 
Presence of 'Call of the Wild 1 in the groups un- 
doubtedly was an incentive for exhibitors to sign 
the contracts. Release of the picture now would 
bolster 20th Century's sagging good will and also 
would yield tidy film rentals. . . . 

"This is how the matter stands and will continue 
to stand until 20th Century either delivers the picture 
in accordance with the deals worked out between 
the exhibitors and the salesmen or until 20th Century 
offers a bona fide explanation as to why the picture 
was withheld. The usual eye-wash as to the other 
wonderful pictures in the group won't do. We've 
heard that one before." 

Harrison's Reports has omitted from the bulletin 
suggestions as to the possible reasons why 20th Cen- 
tury-Fox has not delivered "Call of the Wild." Be- 
fore publishing these suggestions, this paper will first 
endeavor to obtain from 20th Century-Fox a state- 
ment of the circumstances and the facts involved in 
the matter. The writer has tried to get in touch with 
Mr. Connors, but up to press time he had not been 
available for comment. 

It can readily be seen, however, that the charges 
National Allied has brought against 20th Century- 
Fox reveal that a deplorable situation exists between 
the company and its customers. These customers are 
entitled to know why "Call of the Wild" was sold to 



them twice within one year and why it has been 
withdrawn from the approved contract each time. 

Then again, there is the matter of the raw stock 
used in the prints of this picture. Allied says that 
this is an issue between the company and the WPB. 
Harrison's Reports, however, feels that, since the 
exhibitors have a definite stake in every foot of this 
critical stock, the shortage of which is causing them 
untold headaches, an explanation to them is more 
urgent than to the WPB, which up to this time has 
done nothing about recognizing exhibition's equity in 
raw stock. Under proper WPB control, 20th Cen- 
tury-Fox might not have been able to process what 
is claimed to be three hundred prints of this picture 
only to have them remain on the shelves of the ex- 
changes while the exhibitors go hungry for pictures 
because of the raw stock shortage. 

Pending a statement from Mr. Connors, Harri- 
son's Reports will withhold further comment until 
next week, at which time it will have more to say 
about this matter. 



THE SENATE INVESTIGATION IS ON 

According to reports in the trade papers, Mr. 
Dewey Anderson, counsel for the U.S. Senate Small 
Business Committee, which recently announced its 
intention to investigate monopolistic practices in the 
film industry to determine whether or not inde- 
pendents are being forced out of business, was to con- 
fer last Wednesday with officials of the Department 
of Justice. The purpose of the conference was to try 
to reach an understanding on the objectives of both 
groups, and to discuss some of the several hundred 
complaints that have been sent to the Committee 
since it announced the investigation. 

The trade papers state that complaints from inde- 
pendent exhibitors are reaching the Committee at 
the rate of about a dozen each day. 

At the time that this investigation was announced, 
Harrison's Reports was of the opinion (and still 
is) that the Committee could save much time and 
money by referring to the files of the Department of 
Justice, which has spent many years carefully gather- 
ing information and facts relative to monopolistic 
practices in the industry. This paper stated that, if 
the Committee would merely digest the information 
contained in these files, it would become as fully con- 
vinced about the existence of these monopolistic prac- 
tices as if it had conducted an independent investi- 
gation. It was pointed out that the time and effort 
that would be required for a needless investigation 
could be put to better use in the formulation of a pro- 
posed plan to eliminate these practices. 

(Continued on last page) 



70 



May 5, 1945 



"Swing Out, Sister" with Rod Cameron 
and Frances Raeburn 

(Universal, May 18; time, 60 min.) 

Other than a few tuneful but not outstanding 
musical interludes, there is not much to recommend 
in this program comedy, which is decidedly inferior 
to most pictures of this type produced by Universal. 
The story is so inane that one loses interest in the 
outcome. Moreover, the action is consider.ibly slow 
and the comedy is forced. There is really not one 
situation that will remain in one's mind. Nor do the 
characters do anything to arouse one's sympathy since 
most of their actions are ridiculous. Arthur Treacher 
provokes some laughs by his actions as a "swing" 
music lover: — 

Rod Cameron and Arthur Treacher, his friend, 
classical musicians with a secret love for "swing" 
music, are invited to the home of Billie Burke, spon- 
sor of a classical music society. There they meet 
Frances Raeburn, Miss Burke's niece, and Jacqueline 
Dc Wit, her pal. Frances pretended to her family 
that she was studying classical music, but actually 
she and Jacqueline worked in a night-club as a singing 
team. Unaware that Frances was a lover of "hot" 
music, Cameron plans to convert her from a classical 
singer to a "jive" singer. Both eventually learn of 
their mutual love for "swing," and for one another. 
Meanwhile Milburn Stone, the night-club owner, 
who hoped to marry Frances, learns of her new 
romance and determines to break it up. He arranges 
for Frances' family to come to the night-club to hear 
her sing, making it appear as if Cameron had re- 
vealed her secret. Peeved, Frances decides to marry 
Stone, but through the friendly interference of 
Treacher and Jacqueline, it all ends with both lovers 
being reunited. 

Henry Blankfort wrote the screen play, Bernard 
W. Burton produced it, and Edward Lilley directed 
it. The cast includes Samuel S. Hinds, Fuzzy Knight, 
Constance Purdy, the Leo Diamond Quintet, Selika 
Pettiford and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"The Fighting Guardsman" with Willard 
Parker and Anita Louise 

(Columbia, May 24; time, 84 min.) 

Although there is nothing distinctive about this 
costume picture, and though it does not rise above 
the level of program fare, it should offer fairly good 
entertainment for audiences that like heroic, "Robin 
Hood" acts, sword play, and other thrills, irrespective 
of logic. To the intelligent clement, some of the situ- 
ations will prove deridingly laughable. The story, 
based on Alexandre Dumas' "The Companions of 
Jehu," revolves around a young French nobleman, 
who secretly leads a band of oppressed peasants in 
revolt against the tyranny of Louis XVI. It has a fair 
share of excitement drawn from stock melodramatic 
situations, a romance, and some comedy. No one in 
the cast means anything at the box-office, but the per- 
formances are passable : — 

Masking his identity, Willard Parker, a French 
nobleman, leads his band of peasants in daring raids 
against the King's mail coaches, confiscating gold 
extorted from the people and distributing it among 



the poor. Through Janis Carter, an innkeeper's 
daughter who becomes the King's mistress, Parker 
learns of the King's plans to capture him and is en- 
abled to turn every situation to his own advantage. 
Parker, in his capacity as a nobleman, defends the 
actions of the "mysterious bandit," arousing the 
wrath of George Macready, the King's aide. In a 
duel between the two, Parker declines to harm Mac- 
ready because of his love for Anita Louise, Macready's 
sister. Meanwhile John Loder, an English nobleman, 
who was touring France to determine the wisdom 
of granting a large loan to the King, becomes friendly 
with Parker. When the King (Lloyd Corrigan) learns 
that Loder was the bankers' agent, he determines to 
arrange a marriage between him and Anita in order 
to win his friendship for France. In the meantime, 
Parker'6 secret headquarters arc found out, and the 
King dispatches Macready and soldiers to capture 
him. Macready is killed in the battle that follows, 
and Anita, holding Parker responsible, bids the King 
to hasten her marriage to L/xler. But Loder, knowing 
that Parker was innocent, convinces Anita that she 
was in the wrong. Parker and his men, having de- 
feated the King's soldiers, storm the palace gates in 
an attempt to force the King to grant France a con- 
stitution. With the aid of Anita and Loder, he over- 
powers the King's guards, an act that culminates in 
the French Revolution. 

Franz Spencer and Edward Dein wrote the screen 
play, Michel Kraike produced it, and Henry Levin 
directed it. The cast includes Edgar Buchanan, Elisa- 
beth Risdon and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"The Brighton Strangler" with John Loder 
and June Duprez 

(RKO, no release date set; time, 67 min.) 

A pretty good program psychological murder melo- 
drama. The plot is somewhat illogical and the acting 
occasionally stilted, but since it has several exciting 
and chilling situations the spectator's attention is held 
throughout. The story, laid in London, revolves 
around an actor who suffers a loss of memory during 
an air raid and believes himself to be the psychological 
killer he had been portraying on the stage. Consider- 
able suspense is sustained as the actor, following the 
play's plot, strangles victims who correspond to the 
characters in the play. The closing scenes, where the 
maniac meets his doom, are far-fetched but novel : — 

Cast as "The Brighton Strangler" in a murder play, 
John Loder, an actor, loses his memory when injured 
in an air raid. He wanders to a railroad station, where 
he overears June Duprez, a young WAAF, ask for 
a ticket to Brighton. The word "Brighton" strikes a 
chord in his memory and it reminds him of his stage 
role in which he played an escaped maniac who took 
revenge upon the people responsible for having com- 
mitted him to an asylum. Believing himself to be the 
maniac, Loder buys a ticket to Brighton and follows 
June. They strike up an acquaintance on the train, 
and June confides to him that she was married secretly 
to Michael St. Angel, an American flyer, but did not 
want to tell her family about it. Loder agrees to help 
her cover up dates with her husband. In Brighton, 
Loder becomes enveloped in his role of the "Brighton 



May 5, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



71 



Strangler" and, in a succession of murders, strangles 
the town's mayor and the chief inspector of police. 
Then, in his deranged mind, he believes that June sus- 
pected him of the crimes, and he resolves to kill her. 
Meanwhile June's husband, who had been puzzled by 
Loder's strange behaviour, sees a picture of Loder 
and recognizes it as that of the star who was pre- 
sumed killed in the air raid. He notifies the police, 
who, together with Rose Hobart, the play's author, 
search for Loder and find him on a hotel roof stran- 
gling June. Realizing that Loder was re-enacting his 
stage role, Miss Hobart calls upon every one to ap- 
plaud. Loder, thinking the play had ended, releases 
June. As he steps back to acknowledge the applause, 
he topples over the parapet to his death. 

Arnold Phillips and Max Nosseck wrote the screen 
play, Herman Schlom produced it, and Mr. Nosseck 
directed it. The cast includes Miles Mander and 
others. 

Unpleasant for children. 

"The Southerner" with Zachary Scott 
and Betty Field 

(United Artists, May 18; time, 91 min.) 

One can find no fault with the production that 
David L. Loew and Robert Hakim have given this 
drama, but its value is doubtful for the masses; it is 
not a cheerful entertainment, for it deals with the 
suffering, humiliation, and defeat of a tenant farmer 
in the South, hopelessly struggling to keep his little 
family together. The theme is so depressing and sordid 
that its chief appeal will probably be to serious'minded 
audiences. The story has many strong dramatic and 
emotional situations, and holds one's interest through- 
out. Zachary Scott, as the struggling farmer, and 
Betty Field, as his wife, are excellent, while the others 
in the cast give them very able support. Miss Field's 
devotion to her husband and her belief in his ideals 
give the picture its human touch:— 

Seeking independence, Scott, a migratory worker, 
decides to become a tenant farmer. With his wife, 
two children, and his shrill-tongued grandmother, 
Scott moves into a dismal, broken-down shack, where 
the family spends a dreary winter living meagerly. 
J. Carrol Naish, his hard-bitten neighbor, grudgingly 
permits him to draw water from his well. With the 
arrival of Spring, Scott and Betty start plowing the 
ground. Their hardships increase when one of the 
children is stricken with a dread disease (pellagra) 
and the village doctor warns the anguished parents 
that they must get fresh vegetables and milk if the 
boy is to recover. Kindly neighbors come to the aid 
of the distressed family by furnishing them with a 
cow, and Scott, after a vicious quarrel with Naish, 
patched up by their mutual love for fishing, gains the 
use of his vegetable garden. Cheered by his good 
fortune, Scott fights off misgivings at having chosen 
farming instead of a well-paying job in a big city 
factory; he felt that one good cotton crop would for- 
ever rid him of his poverty. Despite many more 
hardships, Scott and Betty succeed in raising a rich 
cotton crop, but before they can harvest the fruits of 
their labor the crop is ruined and their farm deva- 
stated by a heavy storm. Scott, dejected, decides to 
give up farming and take the factory job, but the 



sight of Betty and the children industriously repair- 
ing the damage restores his confidence. With renewed 
vigor, he determines to try again in the hope that 
the new crop will bring him the security he cherished. 

The screen play, based on the novel, "Hold Au- 
tumn in Your Hand," was written and directed by 
Jean Renoir. The cast includes Beulah Bondi, Percy 
Kilbride, Blanche Yurka, Nestor Paiva, Estelle Taylor 
and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"The Missing Corpse" with J. Edward 
Bromberg and Isabel Randolph 

(PRC, June 1 ; time, 62 min.) 

A fairly good program comedy-melodrama. The 
fact that the story is thin does not matter much, for 
it moves at a steady pace and has many humorous 
situations. Most of the comedy results from the efforts 
of a middle-aged publisher to hide from the police and 
his family the body of a rival publisher, because he 
knew that circumstances pointed to him as the killer. 
The discovery of the body in different parts of the 
house and its continuous disappearance keep all the 
characters in a constant state of bewilderment. The 
main drawback is the lack of star names, but those 
who see the picture will find it entertaining: — 

J. Edward Bromberg, a newspaper publisher, be- 
comes incensed when Paul Guilfoyle, unscrupulous 
publisher of a rival paper, prints an uncomplimentary 
story about his daughter. He visits Guilfoyle and 
threatens to kill him if he slanders his family again. 
Shortly after, Guilfoyle tries to blackmail Ben Wel- 
den, an ex-convict, into murdering Bromberg, but 
Welden, to retrieve a written murder confession 
Guilfoyle had been holding over him, murders Guil- 
foyle instead, and hides the body in the luggage com- 
partment of Bromberg's car. Meanwhile Bromberg, 
tired of his ungrateful family, decides to go up to his 
hunting lodge, accompanied by Frank Jenks, his 
chauffeur. Arriving at the lodge, Bromberg discovers 
the body. He conceals the discovery in the belief that 
Jenks had committed the crime to please him. But 
Jenks, too, discovers the body and, to protect Brom- 
berg, hides it in a wood box. Both men finally learn 
that neither had committed the crime, but, because 
Bromberg had publicly threatened Guilfoyle, they 
decide to say nothing to the police and to get rid of 
the body. By this time Bromberg's family learns of 
Guilfoyle's disappearance and, in the belief that 
Bromberg's sudden vacation had a connection, they 
decide to go to the lodge. There, a series of farcical 
events take place with different members of the family 
finding the body as Bromberg keeps hiding it. Mean- 
while Belden, believing the confession was on Guil- 
foyle's body, comes to the lodge to retrieve it only to 
be apprehended by the police who had come to arrest 
Bromberg. He confesses the murder,. clearing the mis- 
understood publisher. 

"Blood on the Sun" with James Cagney 
and Sylvia Sidney 

(United Artists, no release date set; time, 94 min.) 
In the review printed last week, the distributor, 
release date information, and running time were in- 
advertently omitted. 



72 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



May 5, 1945 



Nevertheless, the Committee seems determined to 
earry on its own investigation and to obtain its own 
facts. 

Such being the case, it is important that the ex' 
hibitors come forward with whatever information 
they possess as to the methods the big companies are 
employing to further their monopolies. But if the 
exhibitors arc to aid the Committee in ferreting out 
these monopolistic practices, they must confute them- 
selves to bona fide complaints, the sort that will stand 
up under exhaustive study. They must avoid the sub- 
mission of complaints that arc no more than "gripes" 
from those who have made bad deals. Such complaints 
will serve, not only to overburden the Committee, 
but also to create unnecessary confusion. 

The only way by which you can help the Com- 
mittee, and yourself, is to submit to it whatever evi- 
dence you possess, preferably documentary, so that 
the existence of the unfair practices of the producer- 
distributors and of their subsidiaries may be proved 
beyond the question of a doubt. 



A FINE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE 
BRITISH PRODUCERS 

A treaty between the United States and Great 
.Britain, aimed at the elimination of double taxation 
on incomes, has been signed by Secretary of State 
Stettinius and Lord Halifax, and has been sent to 
the United States Senate by President Truman for 
ratification. 

Under the treaty, Americans paying income taxes 
in Great Britain on monies earned in that country, 
will be permitted to list the tax paid as a deductible 
item when paying their income taxes in this country. 
The same, in reverse, will apply to Britishers earning 
money and paying income taxes in this country. 

When approved by the Senate (there sccmes to be 
no doubt that it will be approved) , the treaty, in addi- 
tion to bringing tax relief to American investors in 
British industries, as well as to British investors in 
American industries, should serve also to induce 
American picture stars to accept roles in British-made 
pictures; up to now, many stars have been reluctant 
to accept lucrative offers from British producers be- 
cause the double taxation would either leave them 
with a small percentage of their earnings, or, in some 
cases, cause them to suffer a financial loss. 

With the treaty in force, the British producers 
should find it much easier to negotiate with the popu- 
lar American stars, whose appearance in any of their 
pictures would go a long way toward inducing the 
American exhibitors to book British-made pictures, 
for they will feel secure in the knowledge that the 
stars will attract the public to their box-offices. 

Despite the feeling that exists among many British 
film people that the American film industry is trying 
to stifle British competition, Harrison's Reports 
assures them that the American exhibitors have no 
national prejudices; so long as British films will draw 
at the box-office, the American exhibitors will wel- 
come them. Moreover, the American independent ex- 
hibitors, in particular, will be delighted to encourage 
the British producers, for in helping them to obtain 
a firm hold in the American market they will, not 
only gain another source of product, but also compel 
the American producers to vie for playing time. And 
the keener the competition among all the producers, 
the better off the exhibitor. 



The wise British producer, however, should not 
depend on star names alone to put his pictures over 
with the American public; he should make a close 
study of the tastes of the American public, and he 
should select story material that will be in conformity 
with these tastes. 

WHAT A SMALL-TOWN EXHIBITOR 
THINKS OF US 

Every so ofen subscribers write to me to tell me of 
the value of Harrison's Reports in the operation of 
their theatres. Typical of these letters is the following 
from Mr. W. D. Pate, of the Royal Theatre in Sam- 
son, Alabama: 

"I like your Reports. They have been a life saver, 
or should I say a business saver to me. I had been 
retired for a few years and out of touch with pictures; 
my sons had been l(X)king after everything, and all 
at once they were drafted into the Armed Services 
and so I had to take over again, and you can imagine 
how lost I was. Then I subscribed to your Reports 
.ind I cannot tell you just how much they meant to 
me. 

"When the salesman comes and wants to sell me 
pictures I always get your Reports down, and BOY 
do some of them CUSS. They say you have it in for 
their companies, but I soon convinced them to the 
contrary by showing them what you say about certain 
pictures." 

The hostility of some film salesmen who, in order 
to make deals with exhibitors, will not hesitate to say 
anything against my paper whenever a bad review is 
called to their attention, is something I have learned 
to take in stride after all these years. 

As I have often stated in these columns, my one 
object has been to render service to the exhibitors 
without being unfair to the producers and distribu- 
tors. Whatever opinion I have of a company's policy 
towards the exhibitors I reserve for the editorial pages. 
At no time is my opinion on pictures influenced by 
any factors other than their merit. I may find cause 
to disagree with a company's policy, but if it has a 
good picture I'll give it a good review. 



SOME INFORMATION ON 
FILM RENTALS 

Pete Wood, secretary of the ITO of Ohio, has been 
contacting exhibitors in many parts of the country 
regarding film rentals, and the following are some of 
his findings as reported in a recent organization 
bulletin: 

Paramount: "Salty O'Rourkc" — 50% of top flat 
rental; "The Unseen" — 55% of top flat rental; 
"High Powered ' — lowest flat rental. 

Columbia: "Song to Remember" — Has been sold to 
subsequent run city theatres at 35% with de- 
ductions allowed for a second feature or pre- 
miums. 

T. C. Fox: "Sunday Dinner for a Soldier" — 50% 
of top flat rental; "Fighting Lady"- — lowest flat 
rental; "Hangover Square" — low flat rental; 
"Keys of the Kingdom" — Percentage split 
starting at 25%; "Irish Eyes Are Smiling" — 
Top flat; "Tree Grows in Brooklyn" — Top flat 
with percentage split. 
Wood explains that "50% of top flat rental" 

means that, if your top flat rental is $100, you should 

pay no more than $50 for Paramount's "Salty 

O'Rourke." 



IN TWO SECTIONS— SECTION ONE 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 

Harrison's Reports 

Yearly Subscription Rates: 1270 SIXTH AVENUE Published Weekly by 

United States $15.00 Unnm 1 «1 9 Harrison's Reports, Inc., 

U. S. Insular Possessions. 16.50 ROOm lou Publisher 

Canada 16.50 New York 20, N. Y. P. S. HARRISON, Editor 

Mexico, Cuba, Spain 16.50 «■.«...• . _ . _ . 

rrpat Rritain 15 75 A Motion Picture Reviewing Service 

Australia New" Zealand' Devoted Chiefly to the Interests of the Exhibitors Established July 1, 1919 

India, Europe, Asia .... 17.50 Itg Editoria ] Policy: No Problem Too Big for Its Editorial Circle 7-4622 

ibc a copy Columns, if It is to Benefit the Exhibitor. 

A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 

Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, MAY 12, 1945 No. 19 



More About 'The Call of the Wild" 



Last week there was reproduced in these columns 
part of a bulletin issued by Allied States Association 
of Motion Picture Exhibitors, in which that organisa- 
tion charged Twentieth Century-Fox with bad faith 
in its dealings with numerous exhibitors in connection 
with the Clark Gable reissue, "Call of the Wild." 

Specifically, Allied claimed that "numerous trust' 
ing exhibitors, relying on 20th Century work sheets 
and sales talks, signed applications for groups of pic- 
tures including the Clark Gable reissue k Call of the 
Wild, 1 only to find that this picture had been omitted 
from the approved contract. This happened not once, 
but twice." 

In addition, it was charged that prints of the pic- 
ture (approximately three hundred according to Pete 
Wood of the ITO of Ohio) were resting on the shelves 
of the company's exchanges, involving a possible waste 
of raw stock at a time when the industry can ill afford 
such a waste. 

Allied pointed out that the presence of "Call of the 
Wild" in the groups of pictures undoubtedly was an 
incentive for exhibitors to sign the contracts, and it 
called upon Twentieth Century-Fox, either to deliver 
the picture in accordance with the deals worked out 
between the exhibitors and the salesmen, or to offer a 
bona fide explanation as to why the picture was with- 
held. 

Included in the Allied bulletin were some sugges- 
tions concerning the possible reasons why Twentieth 
Century-Fox has withheld release of the picture, but 
Harrison's Reports omitted publication of these 
suggestions in order that it might first obtain from the 
company a statement of the circmustances and facts 
involved in the matter. 

Since then the writer has questioned Mr. Tom Con- 
nors, Twentieth Century-Fox's Vice-president in 
charge of world distribution, about this incident. Mr. 
Connors, however, has declined to make any state- 
ment whatever in behalf of his company. Accordingly, 
one is left with the impression that Allied's charges 
are justifiable, and that the position of Twentieth 
Century-Fox is indefensible. 

In view of the fact that Twentieth Century-Fox 
has not come forth with an explanation to the ex- 
hibitors, Harrison's Reports feels obliged to bring 
to the attention of its readers that part of the Allied 
bulletin omitted from last week's issue, and which 
deals with the possible reasons Twentieth Century- 
Fox might have for its failure to deliver "Call of the 
Wild." The omission follows: 



". . . If the major distributors are as competitive as 
they soon will be telling Judge Goddard they are, why 
doesn't 20th Century release this picture? (Editor's 
TSjote: Judge Goddard is the trial judge in the T^ew 
Tor\ anti-trust case.) 

"A relevant circumstance is that Loew's, Inc. 
(M-G-M), presided over by Nicholas Schenck, 
brother of Joseph Schenck, the power behind the 
throne in 20th Century, is planning to release a new 
Clark Gable picture, heralding that star's return to 
the screen. It has been suggested that the President of 
Metro prevailed on the Executive Production Head of 
20th Century to suppress the reissue for fear its re- 
lease at this time might interfere with the killing 
which Metro expects to make with the new Gable 
offering. 

"However, it is not necessary to base the obvious 
inference on the relationship of these dominant per- 
sonages — and we reject the suggestion. Absence of 
competition can be traced to deeper causes. If Metro 
and 20th Century merely distributed films, competi- 
tion would control their actions. But like other mem- 
bers of the Big Five, each operates a large chain of 
key-run theatres which exhibit its own films and also 
the films of other major distributors. Thus the theatres 
of each such distributor are dependent on the other 
distributors for necessary supplies of films, and each 
is dependent on the theatres of the others for neces- 
sary outlets for film, and in this community of in- 
terest there is no room for the play of competition." 

The inference that Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has in- 
fluenced Twentieth Century-Fox to suppress the re- 
issue lest it interfere with the expected smash box- 
office returns of the new Clark Gable picture now in 
production is not a flattering one. It is certainly one 
that requires either a flat denial by MGM, or, if any 
influence has been exerted, a complete explanation as 
to why it was exerted and as to how the exhibitors 
will be affected by it. 

In fairness to MGM, Harrison's Reports will 
refrain from making any comment on MGM's alleged 
interference until it has had an opportunity to dis- 
cuss the matter with one of the company's executives. 

As regards Twentieth Century-Fox, however, this 
paper is of the opinion that the company, by selling 
the Clark Gable reissue twice, by omitting it from the 
approved contract each time, and by refusing to give 
a bona fide explanation of its actions, has dealt im- 
properly with the exhibitors who bought the picture, 
(Continued on last page) 



74 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



May 12, 1945 



"Ten Cents a Dance" with Jane Frazee, 
Joan Woodbury, Robert Scott 
and Jimmy Lloyd 

{Columbia, June 7; time, 60 mm.) 
Ordinary program fare. Other than the title and 
the fact that the heroine works in a dance hall, there 
is no similarity between this story and the one that 
was produced by Columbia in 1931, starring Barbara 
Stanwyck. This is just a routine romantic comedy, 
with music, modestly produced, revolving around the 
adventures of two soldiers on furlough who become 
involved with two taxi-dancers. Neither the story nor 
the treatment is particularly novel, but it has enough 
popular type music and comedy to get by with un- 
discriminating audiences, especially the "jitterbug" 
set: — 

Privates Robert Scott, a millionaire's son, and 
Jimmy Lloyd, his buddy, in town on a thirty-six-hour 
pass, visit a dance hall where they meet Jane Frazee 
and Joan Woodbury, taxi-dancers. Scott gives Lloyd 
$100 and allows him to pose as a millionaire's son to 
impress Jane. Knowing that Jane was trying to raise 
$500 to help a sick friend, John Calvert, the dance 
hall proprietor, suggests to her that she become friend- 
ly with Lloyd so that he (Calvert) could lure him 
into a crooked dice game, the winnings to be turned 
over to her sick friend. Jane agrees, and together with 
Joan and Scott, goes out for a gay time with Lloyd. 
Both fall in love with each other, and she confesses to 
him that her intentions toward him at first were not 
honorable. He in turn tells her about his subterfuge, 
and proposes marriage. Jane accepts, then tells Cal- 
vert. Believing that she had double-crossed him to take 
advantage of the "millionaire" herself, Calvert has 
one of his henchmen hold her prisoner while he in' 
forms Lloyd that she had changed her mind about 
marrying him. Lloyd, peeved, accepts Calvert's invi' 
tation to "a little game." Meanwhile Jane escapes and, 
to break up the game, starts a riot on the dance floor. 
Lloyd, who had been permitted to win the first few 
games, grabs his winnings and dashes to the street, 
where Joan tells him of what Jane had done. He 
rushes back into the dance hall in time to save her 
from Calvert's wrath. His thirty-six-hour pass at an 
end, Lloyd gives Jane his winnings for her sick friend 
and heads back to camp with Scott, both promising 
to resume their romances after the war. 

Morton Grant wrote the screen play, Michel Kraike 
produced it, and Will Jason directed it. The cast in- 
cludes George McKay and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"A Guy, a Gal and a Pal" with Lynn Merrick 
and Ross Hunter 

{Columbia, March 8; time, 61 min.) 
Just a mildly entertaining romantic comedy, the 
sort that should serve its purpose as the lower-half of 
a mid-week double bill in secondary theatres. It has 
been given an unpretentious production, and there is 
not one new twist to the time-worn, implausible story, 
which revolves around a young couple who pose as 
man and wife when the young lady finds herself in 
need of assistance. Several of the situations are amus- 
ing, but for the most part the farcical complications 
that occur are quite familiar. It may, however, give 



satisfaction to those who are not too particular about 
story material : — 

Accompanied by Ted Donaldson, her nephew, Lynn 
Merrick goes to the Los Angeles depot to board a 
train for Washington, D. C, where she intended to 
marry George Meeker, a wealthy socialite. She learns 
to her dismay that her tickets had not been reserved, 
and she permits Ross Hunter, a Marine, to obtain 
reservations for her by agreeing to pose as his wife. 
En route, Lynn learns that Hunter was a war hero, 
and that he was on his way to Washington to receive 
the Congressional Medal of Honor from the Presi- 
dent. Complications arise when a General traveling 
on the train recognizes Hunter and insists that he and 
his "wife" spend the night in his drawing room. On 
the following morning, Lynn, Hunter and Ted get 
off the train at a small stop to stretch their legs, only 
to find themselves stranded when the train pulls out 
without them. To get to Washington for their re- 
spective appointments, they buy an old car, but it 
soon breaks down and they lose their way. They 
eventually reach a small town, where the Mayor, 
recGgnizing Hunter, arranges for them to fly to Wash- 
ington. Arriving there, Hunter discovers that he was 
expected to bring his "wife" with him to the Presi- 
dent. Meanwhile Lynn has a quarrel with Meeker 
who, through newspaper publicity, had learned of 
her trip with Hunter and misunderstood the circum- 
stances. Peeved at Meeker's insinuations and realiz- 
ing that her heart was with Hunter, Lynn breaks her 
engagement and rushes to Hunter's hotel suite. Both 
are married in time for them to get to the White 
House for the presentation. 

Monte Brice wrote the screen play, Wallace Mac- 
Donald produced it, and Oscar Boetticher, Jr., di- 
rected it. The cast includes Jack Norton, Russell 
Hicks and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

BOX-OFFICE PERFORMANCES 

(Continued from last page) 
Paramount 

"Hail the Conquering Hero": Good 

"Take it Big": Fair 

"Henry Aldrich's Little Secret": Fair 

"I Love a Soldier": Fair 

"Sign of the Cross" (reissue): Fair 

"Rainbow Island": Good-Fair 

"Till We Meet Again" : Fair 

"National Barn Dance": Fair 

"Our Hearts Were Young and Gay": Good-Fair 

;"Dark Mountain": Poor 

"And Now Tomorrow": Very Good-Good 

"The Man in Half Moon Street": Fair-Poor 

"Frenchman's Creek": Good 

"One Body Too Many": Fair-Poor 

"Ministry of Fear": Fair 

"Here Come the Waves": Very Good 

"Dangerous Passage": Fair-Poor 

"Practically Yours" : Fair 

"Double Exposure" : Fair 

"Bring on the Girls": Good 

"The Unseen": Fair 

"Salty O'Rourke" : Very Good 

"High Powered": Fair-Poor 

Twenty-three pictures have been checked with the follow- 
ing results: 

Very Good, 2; Very Good-Good, 1; Good, 3; Good-Fair, 
2; Fair, 10; Fair-Poor, 4; Poor, 1. 



May 12, 1945 



75 



RKO 

"Gildersleeve's Ghost": Fair 
"Marine Raiders" : Good-Fair 
"A Night of Adventure": Fair 
"Step Lively": Good-Fair 
"Youth Runs Wild": Poor 

"Snow White 6? the 7 Dwarfs" (reissue) : Good 

"The Falcon in Mexico" : Fair 

"Music in Manhattan": Fair 

"Mme. Fifi": Fair-Poor 

"Bride By Mistake": Good 

"Heavenly Days": Good-Fair 

"None but the Lonely Heart": Fair 

"The Master Race": Fair 

"Tall in the Saddle": Good 

"Goin' to Town": Poor 

"My Pal, Wolf": Fair 

"The Girl Rush" : Fair 

"The Falcon in Hollywood" : Fair 

"Murder My Sweet": Good 

"Nevada": Fair 

"Experiment Perilous": Good-Fair 
"The Princess and the Pirate" : Good 
"Casanova Brown" : Good 
"Woman in the Window" : Very Good-Good 
"Belle of the Yukon": Fair 
"It's a Pleasure" : Good 
"The Three Caballeros" : Fair 
"What a Blonde": Fair 
"Betrayal from the East" : Fair 
"Pan Americana": Fair 
"Having a Wonderful Crime": Fair 
"The Enchanted Cottage": Very Good-Good 
Thirty-two pictures have been checked with the follow- 
ing results: 

Very Good-Good, 2; Good, 7; Good-Fair, 4; Fair, 16; 
Fair-Poor, 1; Poor, 2. 

20th Century-Fox 

"Roger Touhy, Gangster": Fair-Poor 
"Candlelight in Algeria" : Fair 
"Home in Indiana": Very Good 
"Take it or Leave it": Good-Fair 
"Wing and a Prayer": Good 
"Sweet and Lowdown": Fair 
"Dangerous Journey" : Fair 
"Greenwich Village": Good 
"Wilson" : Good 

"In the Meantime, Darling" : Fair 
"Irish Eyes are Smiling" : Very Good 
"Laura": Good 

"Something for the Boys" : Good 
"Winged Victory": Very Good 
"Sunday Dinner for a Soldier": Fair 
"Keys of the Kingdom": Very Good-Good 
"The Fighting Lady" : Very Good-Good 
"Hangover Square": Fair 
"A Tree Grows in Brooklyn": Very Good 
"Thunderhead — Son of Flicka" : Very Good 
"Circumstantial Evidence": Fair-Poor 
"The Song of Bernadette": Good 
"A Royal Scandal" : Good-Fair 
"Molly and Me": Fair 

Twenty-four pictures have been checked with the follow- 
ing results: 

Very Good, 5; Very Good-Good, 2; Good, 6; Good-Fair, 
2; Fair, 7; Fair-Poor, 2. 

United Artists 

"Sensations of 1945": Fair 

"Summer Storm" : Fair 

"Abroad with Two Yanks": Good-Fair 



"Since You Went Away" : Very Good 
"Dark Waters": Fair 
"3 Is a Family": Fair 
"Guest in the House": Fair 
"Tomorrow the World" : Fair 
"I'll be Seeing You": Very Good 
"Mr. Emmanuel" : Fair-Poor 
"Delightfully Dangerous": Fair 
"Brewster's Millions" : Fair 

Twelve pictures have been checked with the following 
results: 

Very Good, 2; Good-Fair, 1; Fair, 8; Fair-Poor, 1. 

Universal 
"South of Dixie": Poor 
"Christmas Holiday" : Good 
"Jungle Woman": Fair-Poor 
"The Mummy's Ghost": Fair-Poor 
"Twilight on the Prairie": Fair-Poor 
"Allergic to Love" : Fair-Poor 
"In Society": Good 
"Gypsy Wildcat": Good-Fair 
"Moonlight and Cactus" : Fair 
"The Merry Monahans" : Good-Fair 
"The Pearl of Death" : Fair 
"San Diego, I Love You" : Good-Fair 
"The Singing Sheriff": Fair 
"Babes on Swing Street": Fair 
"The Climax": Fair 
"Bowery to Broadway" : Fair 
"Dead Man's Eyes": Fair-Poor 
"Reckless Age": Fair 
"Enter Arsene Lupin": Good-Fair 
"Murder in the Blue Room": Fair 
"Hi' Beautiful": Fair 
"My Gal Loves Music" : Fair 
"Destiny" : Fair 

"Can't Help Singing". Very Good-Good 

"Night Club Girl" : Fair 

"She Gets Her Man" : Fair 

"Under Western Skies": Fair-Poor 

"The Suspect": Good 

"Here Come the Co-Eds": Good 

"Her Lucky Night" : Fair 

"House of Frankenstein": Fair 

"The Mummy's Curse" : Fair 

"Frisco Sal": Good-Fair 

"Sudan": Fair 

Thirty-four pictures have been checked with the follow- 
ing-results: 

Very Good, 1; Good, 4; Good-Fair, 5; Fair, 17; Fair- 
Poor, 6; Poor, 1. 

Warner Brothers 

"The Mask of Dimitrios" : Good-Fair 
"The Adventures of Mark Twain": Fair 
"Mr. Skeffington": Very Good-Good 
"Janie": Very Good-Good 
"Crime by Night": Fair-Poor 
"Arsenic and Old Lace": Very Good 
"The Last Ride": Fair-Poor 
"The Conspirators" : Fair 
"The Very Thought of You": Good 
"The Doughgirls" : Good-Fair 
"Hollywood Canteen": Very Good 
"To Have and Have Not" : Very Good 
"Objective Burma": Very Good-Good 
"Roughly Speaking": Good 
"Hotel Berlin": Good 
"God is My Co-Pilot"; Very Good-Good 
Sixteen pictures have been checked with the following 
results : 

Very Good, 3; Very Good-Good, 4; Good, 3; Good-Fair, 
2; Fair, 2; Fair-Poor, 2. 



76 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



May 12, 1945 



and its attitude is bound to result in a lack of confi- 
dence in the company on the part of, not only the 
exhibitors who bought the picture, but also others. 

As Allied has stated, the presence of a Clark Gable 
reissue in any group of pictures was undoubtedly an 
incentive for the exhibitor to sign for the group, and 
we might add that, in a good many cases, it probably 
was a controlling factor in inducing the exhibitor to 
agree to the terms asked for the other pictures in the 
group. Many exhibitors, before concluding deals, con- 
sider the box-office worth of the group as a whole. By 
omitting "Call of the Wild" from the approved con- 
tracts, it is reasonable to assume that Twentieth Cen- 
tury-Fox caused the box-office worth of a particular 
group to lessen, perhaps to the extent that lower 
rental terms might have been agreed upon for the 
remainig pictures of the group. Accordingly, Har- 
rison's Reports believes that any exhibitor who 
signed for the entire group, and was denied "Call of 
the Wild" has good cause to ask for an adjustment, 
provided that the deal he made was in any way af- 
fected by the withholding of this reissue. And unless 
Twentieth Century-Fox can satisfactorily explain its 
action, such adjustments should be granted. 

* * * 

While Twentieth Century-Fox owes an explana- 
tion to the exhibitors who bought "Call of the Wild," 
it owes an explanation also to every other exhibitor, 
for its use of the raw stock that has gone into the 
making of the prints, which, in the midst of the great- 
est shortage of feature prints the industry has ever 
experienced, are reposing and gathering dust on the 
shelves of the exchanges. 

This paper has many times stated that the War 
Production Board should formulate rules and regula- 
tions to control the disposition of raw stock allocated 
to the producer-distributors. We maintained (and 
still do) that the exhibitors have an equity in the 
available raw stock during these crtical times, and 
that the producer-distributors' stranglehold on exhi- 
bition would be tightened unless steps were taken to 
protect that equity. 

But Mr. Stanley Adams, chief of the Consumers 
Durable Goods Division of the WPB, under whose 
supervision raw stock is allocated to the industry, has 
done nothing to recognize the exhibitors' stake in raw 
stock, despite his promise that his division would pro- 
tect the equities of exhibition. 

What better proof does Mr. Adams need of the 
fallacy of his Division's method of raw stock control 
than the present instance of Twentieth Century- 
Fox's use of thousands of feet of this valuable stock 
for prints of a reissue, which remain on shelves while 
the available print supply on new features is scarcely 
enough to meet the exhibitors' needs? 

And what about the fact that the indiscriminate 
use of raw stock for prints of reissues, which many 
exhibitors may not care to re-book, because of exces- 
sive rental demands, deprives them of badly needed 
prints on new features? 

Yes, Mr. Adams. What about it? 



BOX-OFFICE PERFORMANCES 

(The previous box-office performances were printed in 
the August 19, 1944 issue: 

Columbia 

"They Live in Fear": Fair-Poor 

"She's a Soldier, Too": Fair-Poor 

"Louisiana Hayride": Fair 

"Secret Command": Fair 

"U-Boat Prisoner": Fair-Poor 

"Mr. Winkle Goes to War": Good-Fair 

"Cry of the Werewolf": Poor 

"Soul of a Monster": Poor 

"Kansas City Kitty": Fair 

"The Impatient Years": Good-Fair 

"Ever Since Venus": Fair 

"One Mysterious Night": Fair-Poor 

"Carolina Blues" : Poor 

"Strange Affair": Fair 

"Meet Miss Bobby Socks": Poor 

"Shadows in the Night": Fair-Poor 

"The Unwritten Code": Poor 

"Mark of the Whistler": Fair 

"Sergeant Mike": Fair-Poor 

"The Missing Juror": Fair-Poor 

"She's a Sweetheart": Fair-Poor 

"Dancing in Manhattan": Fair-Poor 

"Together Again": Good-Fair 

"Tahiti Nights" : Fair-Poor 

"Let's Go Steady": Poor 

"Youth on Trial": Poor 

"Eadie Was a Lady" : Fair 

"I Love a Mystery": Fair-Poor 

"Tonight and Every Night": Good 

"Leave it to Blondie": Fair 

"Crime Doctor's Courage" : Fair 

"A Guy, A Gal, and a Pal": Fair-Poor 

"A Song to Remember": Very good-Good 

"Rough, Tough and Ready": Fair 

Thirty-four pictures have been checked with the follow- 
ing results: 

Very Good-Good, Ij Good, 1; Good-Fair, 3; Fair, 10; 
Fair-Poor, 12; Poor, 7. 

Metro-Gold wyn-Mayer 

"Bathing Beauty": Good 

"The Canterville Ghost": Good 

"The White Cliffs of Dover": Very Good 

"The Seventh Cross" : Good 

"Barbary Coast Gent": Good-Fair 

"Waterloo Bridge" (reissue): Fair 

"Maisie Goes to Reno" : Good-Fair 

"Marriage is a Private Affair": Good-Fair 

"Kismet": Good 

"Mrs. Parkington": Very Good 

"Naughty Marietta" (reissue) : Good 

"Lost in a Harem" : Good-Fair 

"Dragon Seed": Very Good-Good 

"An American Romance": Fair 

"The Thin Man Goes Home": Good-Fair 

"Main Street After Dark" : Fair 

"Music for Millions": Good 

"Blonde Fever" : Fair-Poor 

"This Man's Navy"; Fair 

"Between Two Women": Good 

"Nothing but Trouble" : Fair 

"Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo": Excellent-Very Good 
"Meet Me in St. Louis": Excellent 
"Keep Your Powder Dry" : Good 
"National Velvet" : Very Good 

Twenty-five pictures have been checked with the follow- 
ing results : 

Excellent, 1; Excellent-Very Good, 1; Very Good, 3: Very 
Good-Good, I; Good, 8; Good-Fair, 5; Fair, 5; Fair-Poor 1. 
(Continued on page 74) 



IN TWO SECTIONS— SECTION ONE 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 187S. 

Harrison's Reports 

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Mexico, Cuba, Spain 16.50 . .. t -r, • ^, . 

r . ^ - t ■ ' " 15 75 A Motion Picture Reviewing Service 

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A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 



Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, MAY 19, 1945 No. 20 



A CHANGE IS AT HAND 

Now that the European phase of the war is over, 
the time has come for every one of you to do some 
rational thinking and to take stock of the present and 
future economic state of the nation; some careful 
thought now may save you many a headache after' 
wards. 

While the war still to be fought in the Pacific will 
undoubtedly maintain business revenues at a level 
high above normal, the defeat of Germany has re- 
duced sharply the requirements for implements of 
war, and it should be expected that, from now on, 
income payments to individuals will decline steadily 
as a result of contract cutbacks, elimination of over- 
time work, and the general shift of labor to industries 
paying lower wages. There is also the matter of un- 
employment during the period of industrial reconver- 
sion. Moreover, the early collapse of Japan, because 
of the overwhelming power now bearing down on 
her, is quite within the realm of possibility and, 
should this come about, its suddenness may serve to 
create vast areas of unemployment, which peace- 
time industries, pending reconversion, may not be 
able to absorb for many months. 

The situation is summed up well by Mr. Harvey E. 
Runner, Business News Editor of the ?^ew Tor\ 
Herald Tribune, who had this to say in the Sunday, 
May 13 issue of that paper: 

"Now that we are in the transition period between 
two great wars, the plan of reshaping our national 
economy to a whole set of new conditions is upon us. 
The period just ahead, in so far as it affects industry, 
will be one of half peace, half war. It will compare 
with no like period in the nation's history and, there- 
fore, the path to be followed will be uncharted. . . . 

"While supplies for civilians may be at a low e'bb 
today, war needs right along held the national econ- 
omy at high levels. They boosted industrial activity, 
employment, income payments to individuals, con- 
sumer expenditures, savings of individuals and many 
other factors in our economy to new all-time peaks. 

"But now a change is at hand. The statistical peaks 
have been passed and the new trend is downward. 
Industrial production is under its high point and a 
further sliding off is seen through the summer. Em- 
ployment likewise is expected to fall, as cutbacks on 
war orders take their toll. It naturally follows that 
income payments to individuals will drop and that the 
rate of gain in savings will decline and perhaps cease. 
Consumer expenditures cannot help being affected 
by such developments. . . . 

"Business cannot convert from war to peace and 
hold at present levels. . . . What is about to happen 
represents an inevitable recession from the abnormal 
peaks reached under the war-time stimulation of our 
economy." 



The transition from a war economy to a peace 
economy, without even considering the possibility of 
a sudden collapse of Japan, may result in an unem- 
ployment figure of two and one-half million by the 
end of twelve months, according to a report by Fred 
M. Vinson, Director of War Mobilize (-inn and P e • 
conversion. This figure seems conservative when one 
considers that, within the twelve-month period, more 
than two million men will receive discharges from the 
armed forces. And you might add to this number 
hundreds of thousands of civilian employees in Gov- 
ernment service whose dismissal will be gradual. As 
a matter of fact, the National Civil Service League, in 
a report made public last week, has recommended 
that one and one-half million civilian Government 
workers be dismissed after the war in a reorganization 
of the public services. 

Although the officials in Washington will un- 
doubtedly make every effort to bring about this transi- 
tion with the least possible disruption to the national 
economy, a business decline cannot be escaped. For 
this reason, it is necessary for every one of you to 
exercise the greatest of care as to the prices you pay 
for film rental. The producer-distributors, realizing 
that a recession is on, may try to excite you into buy- 
ing their pictures early. And if you rush to do so, you 
may agree to deals that will compel you later to dip 
into your bank reserve, if you have one, to meet your 
film bills. 

Despite the many statements to the contrary, the 
quality of pictures this season has been generally poor, 
and there is nothing to indicate that during the com- 
ing season there will be an improvement. You cannot, 
of course, tell the producers that the quality of their 
pictures is poor, because, in their usual short-sighted 
manner, they will refute your claim by pointing to the 
abnormal grosses. But the sensible exhibitor knows 
that this is a fallacious answer, for, in most instances, 
the abnormal grosses attained by poor quality pic- 
tures must be attributed to a free-spending, pent-up 
public, whose crave for relaxation, with little time to 
enjoy it, has made them not-too-choosey. With the 
return of normalcy, however, and with the public's 
pocketbook comparatively deflated, and with more 
leisure time to spare, picture-going patrons will once 
again become discriminating about their screen enter- 
tainment and, consequently, the mediocre pictures 
will earn only their worth. 

Make up your mind that the business prospect for 
the future, though not black, is far from the glowing 
war-time prosperity of today; unemployment will in- 
crease, and overtime earnings will be cut. And 
though there may be some reduction in the tax rates, 
it will not compensate for the lowered learning power 
of the public. As a result of these conditions, the 
picture-going ranks are bound to be thinned. 

(Continued on last page) 



78 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



May 19, 1945 



"That's the Spirit" with Jack Oakie 
and Peggy Ryan 

(Universal, June 15; time, 92 min.) 

This is a pleasant blend of comedy, fantasy, senti- 
ment and music, which, despite a number of slow 
spots, should satisfy most picture-goers pretty well. 
The theme of a person dying and then returning to 
earth to mingle with mortals who cannot see him is 
not novel, but it has been handled well and, with the 
aid of expert trick photography, has some unusually 
good comedy situations. Moreover, the music is tune- 
ful and pleasing to the ear, and the dancing, particu- 
larly as executed by Johnny Coy, a newcomer, is out- 
standing. Most of the comedy is provoked by Jack 
Oakie, as the affable spirit, who, using a magic flute, 
influences those who cannot see or hear him to do his 
bidding. The scenes in which he makes his pompous 
father-in-law behave in a ridiculous manner should 
draw howls of laughter: — 

Gene Lockhart, a Victorian-minded, influential 
banker, completely dominates his wife (Edith Bar- 
rett) and his daughter (June Vincent). Rebelling 
against his tyranny and stuffiness, June meets and 
falls in love with Oakie, a vaudevillian, whose pro- 
fession Lockhart despised. Lockhart tries to break up 
their love, but June, leading him to believe that she 
had been compromised, tricks him into compelling 
Oakie to marry her. On the day June gives birth to a 
daughter, a strange, beautiful woman accosts Oakie 
and compels him to follow her. Immediately after, he 
is killed in an accident, and his spirit is taken to heaven 
by the strange woman. Oakie goes to the Complaint 
Department, headed by Buster Keaton, and requests 
to be returned to the Earth so that he could explain 
to his wife that he did not run off with another 
woman. Keaton refuses his request, but after eighteen 
years, when he learns that Lockhart was dominating 
Peggy Ryan, Oakie's daughter, he grants Oakie per- 
mission to spend a week on Earth. Arriving, Oakie 
remains invisible to all but Peggv, who was able to 
see him because of her blood tie. He induces Peggy to 
keep his presence a secret, and influences her to be- 
come a dancer in a theatre owned by Andy Devine, 
his former partner. Lockhart, furious, determines to 
halt her career, and he uses his financial power to 
close the show. But Oakie, by using his magic flute, 
influences Lockhart's wife to defy her husband and 
to finance the show. Meanwhile Oakie's wife, who 
had been ill, is visited by the beautiful messenger of 
death. Her spirit joins Oakie 's spirit, and together 
they watch their daughter score a huge success on 
opening night. 

Michael Fessier and Ernest Pagano wrote the screen 
play and produced it, and Charles Lamont directed it. 
The cast includes Arthur Treacher, Irene Ryan, Vic- 
toria Home and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Honeymoon Ahead" with Allan Jones 
and Grace McDonald 

(Universal, May 11; time, 59 min.) 
A moderately entertaining romantic comedy, with 
music. The performances are superior to the story, 
which is thin and somewhat silly. A few situations 
here and there are amusing enough to provoke laughs, 
but the plot developments are routine and obvious, 
causing one to lose interest in the outcome. The brisk 



action, however, and the pleasant song numbers, are 
compensating factors, and they should help the pic- 
ture to get by as the lower half of a double bill 
wherever audiences are not too concerned about story 
material : — 

Allan Jones, unjustly sentenced for a bank robbery, 
is pardoned. His release from jail upsets the prison 
choir, which he led; the members plot to get him back 
with the aid of Jack Overman, an ex-convict. Hitch- 
hiking home, Jones is given a lift by Raymond Wal- 
burn, head of a struggling stock company, who offers 
him a job with the troupe. Jones promises to join him 
after spending a few days in Oaks Corners, his home 
town. That night, two of Overman's henchmen rob 
the Oaks Corners National Bank of $10,000 and 
manage to conceal the money in the lining of Jones' 
suitcase. The following morning, after Jones' sudden 
departure, the robbery is discovered, placing him 
under suspicion. Overman, learning what his hench- 
men had done, orders them to get back the money 
lest Jones be caught and sent to the wrong jail. Mean- 
while Jones joins the troupe and falls in love with 
Grace McDonald, Walburn's daughter. Grace learns 
of his past and has a misunderstanding with him, but 
she soon becomes convinced of his innocence. Jones 
first learns that he was suspected of the bank robbery 
when he receives word that two bank detectives were 
on their way to arrest him. Lest they arrest him be- 
fore he can clear himself, Jones dons a disguise on 
the stage. Both the detectives and the gangsters ar- 
rive at the theatre at the same time and, in a series of 
incidents in which Jones loses his disguise and is kid- 
napped by the thieves, he manages to gain the upper 
hand, capturing them, recovering the money, and 
clearing his name. 

Val Burton and Elwood Ullman wrote the screen 
play, Will Cowan produced it, and Reginald Le Borg 
directed it. The cast includes Vivian Austin, Murray 
Alper, Eddie Acuff, John Abbott and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Penthouse Rhythm" with Kirby Grant, 
Lois Collier and Judy Clark 

(Universal, June 22; time, 60 min.) 

Just passable. Like the majority of Universal's pro- 
gram comedies with music, this one will serve to round 
out a double bill without making too much of an 
impression on the audience. In spite of the fact that the 
action is fast-moving, it is difficult for one to remain 
interested in the proceedings, for the story is hack- 
neyed, silly, and tiresome. It has a few musical inter- 
ludes, of the "jive" variety, which should please the 
"jitterbug" set. The routine romance is of little help 
to the picture : — • 

Desiring a stage career, Judy Clark and her three 
brothers quit their jobs when they learn that Lois 
Collier, their friend and secretary to Edward Norris, 
a theatrical producer, had arranged for him to audi- 
tion their act. Norris, however, leaves town without 
seeing them; he had become involved in a law suit 
with Marion Martin, a chorus girl, and Kirby Grant, 
his attorney, had advised him to leave town until he 
could arrange a settlement with Donald McBride, 
Marion's attorney. Lois, to help Judy and her broth- 
ers, moves them into Norris' swank apartment so that 
they might put up a "front" and meet the right people 
in show business. When Grant unexpectedly visits 



I 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 79 



May 19, 1945 

« ■ 

the apartment and finds Judy there, Lois, to explain 
Judy's presence, introduces her as "Marion." Grant, 
seizing an opportunity to settle Norris' legal mess, 
talks Judy into dropping the suit, provided he takes 
care of her theatrical ambitions. He decides to give a 
party at Noras' apartment in Judy's honor as a 
means of introducing her to the right people. When 
McBride visits him to arrange a settlement, Grant 
informs him of his deal with "Marion." McBride, 
puzzled, confronts Marion, and for the first time both 
learn that Judy was impersonating her; they decide 
to attend the party to expose her. Norris adds to the 
confusion by returning to town unexpectedly. All 
meet at the party, where Marion, calling Judy an 
imposter, starts a free-for-all fight. The police take 
every one to jail, where Grant, employing his legal 
tactics, accuses Marion of blackmail and compels her 
to drop the suit. It all ends with Norris growing ro- 
mantic over Judy, and with his launching her and her 
brothers on a theatrical career. 

Stanley Roberts and Howard Dimisdale wrote the 
screen play, Frank Gross produced it, and Edward 
Cline directed it. The cast includes Ed Brophy, 
Henry Armetta, Eric Blore and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Trouble Chasers" with Billy Gilbert, 
Shemp Howard and Maxie Rosenbloom 

(Monogram, no release date set; time, 63 min.) 

A switch of the title to "Audience Chaser" would 
be more appropriate for this program comedy; it is 
incredibly poor. Some stories, though nonsensical, 
manage to be humorous, but this one is so inane, and 
what passes for comedy is so forced, that it is doubt- 
ful if even the most ardent picture-goer will have the 
patience to sit through to the end. This is the third 
picture in which Billy Gilbert, Shemp Howard and 
Maxie Rosenbloom have been featured as a comedy 
trio and, in the opinion of this reviewer, the quality 
of the series has gone from bad to worse. The pity of 
it is that the performers, who are capable of handling 
comedy material, are wasted; as hard as they try, they 
cannot overcome the silliness of the story : — 

Under the pen name of "Black Panther," Billy Gil- 
bert, publicity man for Maxie Rosenbloom, a down- 
and-out prizefighter managed by Shemp Howard, 
writes a fictitious account of a $50,000 jewel theft, 
based on the experiences of Carlyle Blackwell, Jr., a 
young taxi driver who, though innocent, had served 
a prison term because a paste duplicate of the jewels 
had been found in his cab. I. Stanford Jolly and 
Wheeler Oakman, members of the gang that had 
committed the theft, read Gilbert's story and come to 
the conclusion that he knew who had the real jewels. 
Gilbert, frightened by their threats, pacifies them by 
promising to produce the real jewels. The gangsters 
become a constant threat to Gilbert, Howard and 
Rosenbloom by moving into their boarding house to 
make sure that Gilbert fulfills his promise. Complica- 
tions arise when Barbara Pepper, another member of 
the gang, who had the jewels in her possession, gives 
them to Gilbert for safekeeping lest her confederates 
discover her secret and kill her. Gilbert, fearing for 
his own safety, tries desperately to get rid of the 
jewels. The gangsters, impatient with Gilbert, finally 
corner him in a night club and take the gems. But the 
police, led by an insurance detective who had been 



masquerading as a boarder, arrive in time to capture 
the thieves, thus clearing Blackwell's name. 

George Plympton and Ande Lamb wrote the screen 
play, Sam Katzman and Jack Dietz produced it, and 
Lew Landers directed it. The cast includes Gloria 
Marlen, Emmett Lynn, Patsy Moran and others. 

Unobjectionable omorally. 

"Pillow to Post" with Ida Lupino, 
William Prince and Sydney Greenstreet 

(Warner Bros., June 9; time, 92 min.) 

In spite of the fact that it lacks a substantial plot, 
this comedy-farce is, for the most part, fairly amus- 
ing, mainly because of the performances by the com- 
petent cast. Adapted from the stage play, "Pillar to 
Post," the story deals with the complications a pretty 
travelling saleswoman and a young army lieutenant 
get themselves into when she persuades the young 
man, a total stranger, to pose as her husband so that 
she could obtain sleeping quarters in a crowded town. 
The farcical situations that result are familiar but 
the events leading up to them are laugh-provoking 
and, since the action is breezy all the way through, 
one's interest is held pretty well. Ida Lupino, as the 
heroine, shows a good flair for comedy : — 

Learning that her father, owner of an oil well sup- 
ply company, was short of salesmen, Ida persuades 
him to let her represent the firm on some important 
deals. She goes to a booming California town, near a 
large army base, only to find that living quarters were 
unavailable. Ruth Donnelly, manager of an auto 
court, mistakes her for an army bride and offers to 
rent her a bungalow. Desperate for a place to sleep, 
Ida indicates that she was married and sets out to 
pick up an officer so that she could register. She meets 
Lieut. William Prince, who reluctantly agrees to help 
her. Complications set in when the "newlyweds" run 
into Colonel Sydney Greenstreet, Prince's command- 
ing officer, who lived at the auto court with his wife 
(Barbara Brown) . Prince, confused, is compelled to 
introduce Ida as his wife or face the consequences of 
a court martial for conduct unbecoming an officer. 
Greenstreet, pleased with the "marriage," caters to 
the young couple and unwittingly compels them to 
spend the night together in the bungalow. Additional 
complications ensue when Johnny Mitchell, manager 
of an oil company, from which Ida sought to obtain 
an order, insists that Ida accompany him on a date 
before signing the order; the other army wives at the 
auto court suspect her of being unfaithful to Prince. 
The young couple determine to get out of their pre- 
dicament by staging a quarrel and pretending to get 
a "divorce," but Greenstreet interferes and virtually 
orders Prince to make up with his "wife." Mean- 
while both had fallen in love. More complications 
ensue when Ida, invited to dinner at the Colonel's 
home, becomes intoxicated and reveals the truth. 
Greenstreet, astounded, threatens to court martial 
Prince, but when he becomes convinced that nothing 
wrong had happened, he gives the young couple his 
blessing as they drive off to make their marriage legal. 

Charles Hoffman wrote the screen play, Alex Gott- 
lieb produced it, and Vincent Sherman directed it. 
The cast includes Stuart Erwin, Willie Best, Paul 
Harvey, Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra and 
others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



80 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



May 19, 1945 



To cite one example of why you should exercise 
care now in your picture-buying, let me remind you 
of the depression in the early 1930's when the large 
circuits cut down their admission prices to increase 
their falling patronage. This move, of course, hurt 
the independent exhibitors, for when they signed 
their contracts they figured the prices they would pay 
for film in accordance with the admission prices that 
they and their competitors were charging. When their 
competitors reduced admission prices, the independ- 
ents were compelled to carry a burden they had not 
foreseen. They found that, if they did not lower their 
prices, they lost patronage, and if they did lower the 
prices, the reduced box-office receipts were much 
too low in comparison with the prices they had paid 
for the film. This example points out but one of the 
possibilities you must now take into consideration. 

Lest some of you gain the impression that I am pre- 
dicting another depression in the near future, let me 
hasten to assure you that such is not my intent. I 
firmly believe that prosperity will be with us for some 
time to come, but not at the level we are enjoying pres- 
ently. That is why I am urging you to watch your 
film buying and to seek rental reductions proportion- 
ate with the future drop in box-office receipts. 

Buy your pictures carefully. Don't rush! Give your- 
self a few days to study the contract before you sign 
it. A little thought and patience now may save you, 
as already said, many headaches afterwards. 

THE OUTLOOK FOR THEATRE 
CONSTRUCTION 

According to a statement issued last week by the 
War Production Board's Office of Civilian Require- 
ments, there is little prospect of new theatre construc- 
tion in the immediate future. 

The OCR stated that "no available facilities exist 
for the manufacture of theatre seats and textile cover- 
ings, or motion picture equipment for commercial 
use." It added that "former manufacturers of chairs 
and seats are now occupied with war work, and al- 
though production of projection and sound equip- 
ment is at its highest peak since 1941, it is sufficient 
only to meet requirements of the Armed Forces. 

"With a partial replacement of civilian theatre 
equipment damaged or destroyed by fire, no reservoir 
of production or supply exists from which new civilian 
theatres can be equipped." 

It was explained also that critical shortages in cer- 
tain building materials, and lack of manpower in 
many areas, were additional factors that now prevent 
the WPB from authorizing new theatre construction. 

The purpose of the statement was to stop the in- 
creasing number of applications for permission to 
build new theatres from persons who are under the 
impression that the relaxation of certain WPB con- 
trols makes it possible for them to put their building 
plans into operation at once. 

Although new theatre building may be barred for 
the immediate future, there is every reason to believe 
that it will not be for long. Perhaps a few months. 
The wheels are already in motion for a changeover 
from a war-time economy to a peacetime economy, 
and it should be expected that building materials now 
on the critical list will soon be available for civilian 
needs. The WPB has already relaxed restrictions on 
the use of steel, copper and aluminum, and the War 
Manpower Commission has announced that, begin- 
ning July 1, regulations covering workers who were 



"frozen" to their jobs will be lifted in many areas 
throughout the country, leaving them free to seek 
other employment. The relaxation of these war-time 
controls will, of course, hasten the theatre building 
program. 

As pointed out in an editorial that appeared in the 
November 11, 1944 issue of this paper, the time to 
control theatre building is now. The prosperity that 
people of this country have enjoyed during the last 
few years has enabled many of them to accumulate 
sizeable bank accounts and, now that the trend is 
back to normalcy, many individuals are shopping 
around for enterprises that will give them post-war 
security. 

The motion picture theatre, to those who are un- 
acquainted with show business operations, seems to 
be a lucrative business. And one can hardly blame 
them for being impressed, because the fantastic sal- 
aries paid to picture people in Hollywood, and the 
tremendous dollar grosses that are publicized in both 
the daily and trade papers, are enough to make any 
one's head swim. If one could only convince these 
people of the pitfalls in our business, and of the mono- 
polistic conditions under which independent exhibi- 
tors are compelled to operate, they might think twice 
before investing their money. But in most cases such 
an approach by an exhibitor to a prospective exhibitor 
would be looked upon with suspicion; he might feel 
that he was being talked out of a "good thing." 

Yet the fact remains that a surge of indiscriminate 
theatre building on the part of, not only newcomers, 
but also those in the business, without regard for a 
community's ability to support more than a given 
number of theatres, threatens to undermine the 
orderly conduct of the exhibition business. Compe- 
tition can often be beneficial, but "over-seating" is 
usually disastrous to all concerned. 

Established exhibitors seeking some measure of 
protection can do something about this impending 
condition before it is too late. 

In the aforementioned November 1 1 issue, I repro- 
duced an ordinance adopted by the City Council of 
Winchester, Kentucky, on February 19, 1937, regu- 
lating the operation of motion picture theatres and 
other similar places of public entertainment within 
the city limits. This ordinance was modeled after a 
proposed ordinance drafted by my attorney a number 
of years ago, prescribing the conditions under which 
new theatres might be built, and it is designed to pro- 
tect the established exhibitor. It is an effective ordi- 
nance because, unlike others, which limit the number 
of theatres in accordance with the number of inhabi- 
tants, thus leaving their constitutionality doubtful, 
this one is predicated on the police powers of the local 
governing body, and would thus have a better chance 
of being upheld if challenged in the courts. 

Those who have copies of the November 11, 1944 
issue of Harrison's Reports may extract that ordi- 
nance and present it to the city councils for action; 
those who have misplaced their copies may apply to 
this office for another copy. 

Now is the time for action, before the reckless surge 
of theatre building gets under way. You must not 
permit yourself to become complacent merely because 
building operations are still under strict control. The 
restrictions may be lifted momentarily. Then it will 
be too late for preventative measures. Remember that 
you cannot build a dam while the flood waters are 
rushing in. 



IN TWO SECTIONS— SECTION TWO 

HARRISON'S REPORTS 



Vol. XXVII 


NEW YORK, SATURDAY, MAY 19, 1945 


No. 20 


(Partial Index No. 3 — Pages 54 to 76 Incl.) 



Titles of Pictures Reviewed on Page 

Bells of Rosarita — Republic (68 min.) not reviewed 

Blood on the Sun — United Artists (94 min.) 67 

Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion — Columbia 

67 min.) 62 

Brighton Strangler, The— RKO (67 min.) 70 

Bullfighters, The — 20th Century-Fox (61 min.) 60 

China Sky— RKO (78 min.) 62 

China's Little Devils — Monogram (74 min.) 55 

Corpus Christi Bandits — Republic (55 min.) . .not reviewed 

Counter-Attack — Columbia (90 min.) 56 

Diamond Horseshoe — 20th Century -Fox (104 min.) ... 59 

Escape in the Desert — Warner Bros. (79 min.) 66 

Fighting Guardsman, The — Columbia (84 min.) 70 

Flame of the Barbary Coast — Republic (91 min.) 63 

Guy, a Gal and a Pal, A — Columbia (61 min.) 74 

Hitchhike to Happiness — Republic (72 min.) 67 

Horn Blows at Midnight, The — Warner Bros. 

(78 min.) 56 

Identity Unknown— Republic (71 min.) 55 

I'll Remember April — Universal (63 min.) 58 

In Old New Mexico — Monogram (62 min.) . .not reviewed 

Lady Confesses, The— PRC (65 min.) 56 

Medal for Benny, A — Paramount (77 min.) 59 

Missing Corpse, The— PRC (62 min.) 71 

Muggs Rides Again — Monogram (64 min.) 66 

Murder, He Says — Paramount (91 min.) 60 

Patrick the Great — Universal (88 min.) 64 

Phantom of 42nd Street— PRC (58 min.) 54 

Phantom Speaks, The — Republic (68 min.) 64 

Salome, Where She Danced- — Universal (90 min.) .... 59 

Scared Stiff — Paramount (63 min.) 60 

Scarlet Clue, The — Monogram (64 min.) 55 

Silver Fleet, The— PRC (77 min.) .' 54 

Song of the Sarong — Universal (63 min.) 58 

Son of Lassie — MGM (100 min.) 63 

Southerner, The — United Artists (91 min.) 71 

Swing Out, Sister — Universal (60 min.) 70 

Ten Cents a Dance — Columbia (60 min.) 74 

Those Endearing Young Charms — RKO (82 min.) .... 62 

Two O'Clock Courage— RKO (66 min.) 54 

Valley of Decision, The— MGM (118 min.) 58 

Vampire's Ghost, The — Republic (59 min.) 64 

Wonder Man— RKO (96 min.) 66 

Zombies on Broadway — RKO (67 min.) 63 



RELEASE SCHEDULE FOR FEATURES 

Columbia Features 

(729 Seventh Ave., Hew Tor\ 19, H- T.) 

6039 Let's Go Steady — Parrish-Moran Jan. 4 

6041 Youth on Trial — Collins-Reed Jan. 11 

6014 Eadie Was a Lady — Miller-Besser Jan. 18 

6024 I Love a Mystery — Bannon-Foch Jan. 25 

6204 Sage Brush Heroes — Starrett (54 m.) Feb. 1 

6221 Sing Me a Song of Texas — Lane (66 m.) . . . . Feb. 8 
6002 Tonight and Every Night — Hayworth- 

Bowman Feb. 22 

6019 Leave it to Blondie — Lake-Singleton Feb. 22 

6017 Crime Doctor's Courage — Baxter-Crane Feb. 27 

6034 A Guy, A Gal and a Pal — Hunter-Merrick. .Mar. 8 

6205 Rough Ridin' Justice— Starrett (58 m.) (re.). Mar. 15 



6018 

6037 
6026 
6222 
6023 
6206 

6031 



Rough, Tough and Ready — McLaglen- 

Morris Mar. 22 

Escape in the Fog — Foch-Wright Apr. 5 

Eve Knew Her Apples — Miller- Wright Apr. 12 

Rockin' in the Rockies — Stooges-Hughes. . . .Apr. 17 

Power of the Whistler — Dix-Carter Apr. 19 

Return of the Durango Kid — Starrett Apr. 19 

Counter-Attack — Muni-Chapman Apr. 26 

Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion — Morris. May 10 
Both Barrels Blazing — Charles Starrett 

(57 m.) May 17 

The Fighting Guardsman — Parker- Louise . . .May 24 

Ten Cents a Dance — Frazee-Lloyd June 7 

Rhythm Round-Up — Western musical June 7 

Blonde from Brooklyn — Stanton-Merrick. . .June 21 
Special 

A Song to Remember — Muni-Oberon Mar. 1 



Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Features 

(1540 Broadway, Hew Yor\ 19, H- T.) 
Block 10 

513 The Thin Man Goes Home — Powell-Loy January 

514 Main Street After Dark — Arnold January 

515 Music for Millions — O'Brien-Allyson February 

516 Blonde Fever — Astor-Dorn February 

517 This Man's Navy — Beery-Drake February 

518 Between Two Women — Johnson-Barrymore. . .March 

519 Nothing But Trouble — Laurel (f Hardy March 

520 Keep Your Powder Dry — Peters-Turner-Day. .March 

Block 11 

522 Without Love — Hepburn-Tracy May 

523 Gentle Annie — Craig-Reed May 

524 The Clock— Garland- Walker May 

525 The Picture of Dorian Gray — 

Sanders-Hatfield June 

526 Son of Lassie — Lawford-Crisp June 

Specials 

500 Dragon Seed — Hepburn-Huston August 

511 Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo — Tracy-Johnson . . January 

512 Meet Me in St. Louis — Garland-O'Brien January 

521 National Velvet — Rooney-Taylor April 

527 Valley of Decision — Garson-Peck June 



Monogram Features 

(630 Hinth Ave., Hew Yor\ 19, H- T.) 

455 Navajo Trail — J. M. Brown (55 m.) Jan. 5 

414 Army Wives — Knox-Rambeau Jan. 12 

420 Adventures of Kitty O'Day — Parker-Cookson. Jan. 19 

417 The Jade Mask — Sidney Toler Jan. 26 

401 Forever Yours — Storm-Brown (re) Jan. 26 

429 The Cisco Kid Returns — Renaldo 

(64 m.) (re.) Feb. 9 

454 Gun Smoke — J. M. Brown (59 m.) Feb. 16 

422 There Goes Kelly- — Moran-McKay (re.) Feb. 16 

402 Dillinger — Tierney-Lowe Mar. 2 

423 Fashion Model — Lowery-Weaver (re.) Mar. 2 

410 Docks of New York — East Side Kids (re.) . . .Mar. 9 
406 G. I. Honeymoon — Storm-Cookson (re.) . . . . Apr. 6 

418 The Scarlet Clue — Sidney Toler (re.) May 5 

405 China's Little Devils — Carey-Kelly May 12 

In Old New Mexico — Renaldo (62 m.) May 19 

Flame of the West — Brown-Woodbury May 26 

Divorce — Francis-Cabot June 1 

Muggs Rides Again — East Side Kids June 8 

456 Stranger from Sante Fe — J. M. Brown(53 m.).June 15 



May 19, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS Partial Index 



Page B 



4411 
4412 
4413 
4414 
441? 

4416 
4417 
4418 
4419 

4421 
4422 
4423 
4424 

4432 



Paramount Features 

(HOI Broadway, Hew Tor\ 18, H- T.) 
(No national release dates) 
Block 3 

Here Come the Waves — Crosby-Hutton 

Dangerous Passage — Lowery-Brooks 

For Whom the Bell Tolls — Cooper-Bergman. 

Practically Yours — Colbert-MacMurray 

Double Exposure — Morris-Kelly 

Block 4 

Bring on the Girls — Tufts-Bracken-Lake. .. . 

The Unseen — McCrea-Russell 

Salty O'Rourke — Ladd-Russell 

High Powered — Lowery-Brooks 

Block 5 

The Affairs of Susan — Fontaine-Brent 

Murder, He Says — MacMurray- Walker 

Scared Stiff — Haley-Savage 

A Medal for Benny — Lamour-DcCordova. . . 
Special 

Sign of the Cross — Reissue 



PRC Pictures, Inc. Features 

(625 Madison Ave.. Hew York 22, H- T.) 
557 His Brother's Ghost — Buster Crabbe (56 m.) . .Feb. 3 

516 The Kid Sister— Pryor-Clark Feb. 6 

554 Marked for Murder — Texas Rangers ( 58 m.) .. Feb. 8 

523 The Spell of Amy Nugent — English cast Feb. 10 

508 Fog Island— Atwill-Zucco Feb. 15 

507 The Man Who Walked Alone— O'Brien- 

Aldridge Mar. 

517 Out of the Night — Lydon-William (Formerly 
"Strange Illusion") Mar. 

Crime, Inc. — Tilton-Neal Apr. 

Shadows of Death — Buster Crabbe (56 m.).Apr. 

Hollywood y Vine — Ellison-McKay Apr. 

Phantom of 42nd St. — O'Brien-Aldridge May 

Enemy of the Law — Texas Rangers (56 m.). .May 

The Lady Confesses — Hughes-Beaumont May 16 

The Missing Corpse — Bromberg-Jenks June 1 

Gangsters' Den — Buster Crabbe (55 m.) June 14 

The Silver Fleet — English cast June 15 

Three in the Saddle — Texas Rangers June 29 



502 
558 
515 



559 



Republic Features 

(1790 Broadway, Hew Tor\ 19, H- T.) 

409 Grissley's Millions — Kelly-Grey Jan. 16 

410 The Big Show-Off— Lake-Dale Jan. 22 

464 The Topeka Terror — Lane-Stirling (55 m.) . .Jan. 26 

3317 Great Stage Coach Robbery— Elliott (56 m.) .Feb. 15 

411 A Song for Miss Julie — Dolin-Markova Feb. 19 

454 Sheriff of Cimarron — Carson-Stirling (55m.) . .Feb. 28 

441 Utah — Roy Rogers (78 m.) Mar. 21 

412 The Great Flamarion — Von Stroheim-Hughes.Mar. 30 

414 Identity Unknown — Arlen-Walker Apr. 2 

413 Earl Carroll Vanities — O'Keefe-Moore Apr. 5 

465 Corpus Christi Bandits — Lane-Watts (55 m.).Apr. 20 

433 The Phantom Speaks — Arlen-Ridges May 10 

434 The Vampire's Ghost — Abbott-Stewart May 21 

416 Three's a Crowd — Blake-Gordon May 23 

415 Flame of the Barbary Coast — Wayne-Dvorak. May 28 

442 Bells of Rosarita— Roy Rogers (68 m.) June 19 

417 The Chicago Kid — Barry-Roberts June 29 

419 Hitchhike to Happiness — Pearce-Evans July 16 

418 Steppin' in Society — Horton-George July 29 



RK.O Features 

(1270 Sixth Ave., Hew Yor\ 20, H- T.) 
Block 3 

511 What a Blonde— Errol-Borg 

512 Betrayal from the East — Tracy- Kelly 

513 Pan Americana — Terry- Arden 

514 Having a Wonderful Crime — O'Brien-Landis. . . 

515 The Enchanted Cottage — Young-McGuire 

Block 4 

516 Zombies on Broadway — Brown-Carney. ...... 

517 The Body Snatcher — Karloff-Daniel 

518 Tarzan and the Amazons — Weissmuller 

519 China Sky— Scott-Warrick 

520 Those Endearing Young Charms — Young-Day. 

Block 5 

The Brighton Strangler — Loder-Duprez 

Two O'Clock Courage — Conway-Rutherford . . 

Back to Bataan — Wayne-Quinn 

West of the Pecos — Mitchum-Hale 

George White's Scandals — Haley-Davis 



Specials 

551 The Princess and the Pirate — Bob Hope 

581 Casanova Brown — Cooper- Wright 

582 Woman in the Window — Bennett-Robinson. 

Belle of the Yukon — Scott-Lee 

It's a Pleasure — Henie-O'Shea 

The Three Caballeros — Disney 



583 
584 
591 



Twentieth Century-Fox Features 

(444 W. 56th St., Hew York 19, H- T.) 
(Note: Beginning with January, the practice of desig- 
nating releases by blocks has been discontinued.) 

514 Keys of the Kingdom — Peck-Mitchell January 

515 The Fighting Lady — Documentary January 

516 Hangover Square — Cregar-Darnell February 

517 A Tree Grows in Brooklyn — McGuire-Dunn. February 

518 Thunderhcad — Son of Flicka — McDowall March 

519 Circumstantial Evidence — Nolan-O'Shea March 

520 The Song of Bernadctte — Jennifer Jones April 

521 A Royal Scandal — Bankhead-Eythe April 

522 Molly and Me— Woolley-Fields April 

524 Diamond Horseshoe — Grable-Haymes May 

525 The Bullfighters— Laurel & Hardy May 

526 Where Do We Go from Here — 

MacMurray-Leslie June 

527 Don Juan Quilligan — Bendix-Blondell June 

(Note: The Clark Gable reissue. "Call of the Wild," 

scheduled for April release, has been withdrawn.) 



United Artists Features 

(729 Seventh Ave., Hew York 19, H- T.) 

Dark Waters — Oberon-Tone Nov. 10 

3 Is a Family — Ruggles-Brodcrick Nov. 23 

Guest in the House — Baxter-Bellamy Dec. 8 

Tomorrow, the World — March-Field Dec. 29 

I'll Be Seeing You — Rogers-Cotten-Temple Jan. J 

Mr. Emmanuel — English-made Jan. 19 

Delightfully Dangerous — Powell-Moore Mar. 31 

Brewster's Millions — O'Keefc-Walker Apr. 7 

It's in the Bag — Fred Allen Apr. 21 

Colonel Blimp — English cast May 4 

Hold Autumn in Your Hand — Scott-Field May 18 

The Great John L. — McClure-Darnell May 25 



9035 
9020 
9039 
9010 
9002 
9021 
9013 
9036 
9012 
9006 
9025 
9027 
9040 
9073 



9028 
9033 
9016 



Universal Features 

(1270 Sixth Ave.. Hew Tor\ 20, H- T.) 

Night Club Girl — Austin-Norris Jan. 5 

She Gets Her Man — Davis-Errol Jan. 12 

Under Western Skies — O'Driscoll-Beery, Jr. .Jan. 19 

The Suspect — Laughton-Raines Jan. 26 

Here Come the Co-Eds — Abbott-Costello. . . .Feb. 2 

Her Lucky Night — Andrews Sisters Feb. 9 

House of Frankenstein — Karloff-Chaney Feb. 16 

The Mummy's Curse — Lon Chaney Feb. 16 

Frisco Sal — Bey-Fostcr-Curtis Feb. 23 

Sudan — Montez-Bey-Hall Mar. 2 

The House of Fear — Rathbone-Bruce Mar. 16 

I'll Remember April — Jean-Grant Apr. 13 

Song of the Sarong — Gargan-Kelly Apr. 20 

Salome — Where She Danced — DeCarlo- 

Bruce Apr. 27 

Patrick the Great — O'Connor-Ryan May 4 

Honeymoon Ahead — Jones-McDonald May 11 

Swing out Sister — Cameron-Treacher May 18 

See My Lawyer — Olsen (i Johnson May 25 

That's the Spirit — Oakie-Ryan (re.) June 1 

I'll Tell the World — Tracy-Preisser June 8 

Blonde Ransom — Grey-Cook (re.) June 15 

Penthouse Rhythm — Collier-Grant June 22 

The Frozen Ghost — Chaney-Ankers June 29 

Jungle Captive — Kruger-Ward June 29 

The Naughty Nineties — Abbott & Costello . . July 6 



Warner Bros. Features 

(321 W. 44th St., Hew Tor\ 18, H- T.) 

410 To Have and Have Not — Bogart-Bacall Jan. 20 

411 Objective Burma — Errol Flynn Feb. 17 

412 Roughly Speaking — Russell-Carson Mar. 3 

413 Hotel Berlin — Emerson -Dantine Mar. 17 

414 God is My Co-Pilot — Morgan-Massey Apr. 7 

415 The Horn Blows at Midnight — Jack Benny. . .Apr. 28 

416 Escape in the Desert — Dorn-Dantine May 19 

417 Pillow to Post — Lupino-Prince June 9 

418 Conflict — Bogart-Smith June 30 



Page C 



HARRISON'S REPORTS Partial Index . May 19, 1945 



SHORT SUBJECT RELEASE SCHEDULE 

Columbia — One Reel 

6655 Community Sings No. 5 (9 m.) Jan. 1 

6501 Dog, Cat & Canary— Col. Rhap. (6 m.) Jan. 5 

6856 Screen Snapshots No. 6 (9 m.) Jan. 26 

6805 Kings of the Fairway — Sports (10 m.) Feb. 2 

6954 Korn Kobblers— Film Vodvil (11 m.) Feb. 2 

6656 Community Sings No. 6 (10 m.) Feb. 9 

6602 Kickapoo Juice — Li'l Abner (7 m.) Feb. 23 

6857 Screen Snapshots No. 7 (9 m.) Feb. 25 

6806 Rough and Tumble — Sports (9 m.) Mar. 2 

6657 Community Sings No. 7 (11 m.) Mar. 15 

6858 Screen Snapshots No. 8 (10 m.) Mar. 29 

6703 Goofy News Views — Phantasy (7 m.) Apr. 27 

6807 The Iron Master— Sports (9J/ 2 m.) Apr. 27 

6658 Community Sings No. 8 (9 m.) Apr. 27 

6752 The Egg Yegg— Fox & Crow (7J/ 2 m.) (re.) .May 4 

6663 Victory Reel (V-E Day) May 8 

695 5 Lowe, Hite & Stanley— Film Vodvil (11m.) .May 11 

6859 Screen Snapshots No. 9 (9\Z 2 m.) May 17 

6901 A Harbor Goes to France — Panoramic 

(10 m.) May 18 

6659 Community Sings No. 9 (10 m.) May 25 

6502 Rippling Romance — Col. Rhap. (8 m.) (re.) .June 21 

6660 Community Sings No. 10 June 29 

6808 Hi Ho Rodeo — Sports (re.) July 6 

6704 Booby Socks — Phantasy July 12 

6503 Fiesta Time— Col. Rhapsody (re.) July 12 

6753 Kukunuts— Fox fe? Crow (re.) (6]/ 2 m.) July 26 

6860 Screen Snapshots No. 10 July 27 

Columbia — Two Reels 

6410 Woo, Woo! — Hugh Herbert (16 m.) Jan. 5 

6403 Three Pests in a Mess — Stooges (15 m.) . . . .Jan. 19 

6140 Brenda Starr, Reporter (13 episodes) Jan. 26 

6430 Snooper Service — Brendel ( 14J/2 m -) Feb. 2 

6431 Off Again, On Again— Howard (16 m.) Feb. 16 

6404 Booby Dupes — Stooges (17 m.) Mar. 17 

6432 Two Local Yokels— Clyde (re.) (17l/ 2 m.).Mar. 23 
6160 The Monster & the Ape (15 episodes) Apr. 20 

6433 Pistol Packin' Nitwits — Brendel ( 17 m.) May 4 

6411 Wife Decoy — Hugh Herbert ( 17 m.) June 1 

6423 The Jury Goes Round 'N Round — Vera Vague 

(18 m.) June 15 

6405 Idiots Deluxe — Stooges ( 17</ 2 m.) July 20 



Metro-Gold wyn-Mayer — One Reel 

1943- 44 

W-543 Screwy Truant — Cartoon (7 m.) Jan. 13 

W-544 The Unwelcome Guest — Cartoon (7 m.). .Feb. 17 
W-545 Shooting of Dan McGoo — Cartoon (7m.). Mar. 3 

M-590 Little White Lie — Miniature (11 m.) Mar. 3 

K-575 It Looks Like Rain— Pass. Par. (9m.) Mar. 3 

S-559 Track & Field Quiz— Pete Smith (9 m.) Mar. 3 

W-546 Jerkey Turkey — Cartoon (7 m.) Apr. 7 

S-560 Hollywood Scout— Pete Smith (8m.) Apr. 14 

K-576 The Seasaw and the Shoes — Pass. Par. 

(10 m.) .May 5 

(More to come) 

1944- 45 

T-611 Shrines of Yucatan— Traveltalk (9 m.) Feb. 24 

T-612 See El Salvador— Traveltalk (10 m.) Mar. 31 

Metro-Gold wyn-Mayer — Two Reels 
1943-44 

A-501 Dark Shadows— Special (22 m.) Dec. 16 

A-502 Fall Guy— Special (W/ 2 m.) Apr. 14 

A-503 The Last Installment (18 m.) May 5 

(More to come) 

Paramount — One Reel 

U4-3 Hot Lip Jasper — Puppetoon (7 m.) Jan. 5 

L4-2 Unusual Occupations No. 2 (10 m.) Jan. 12 

Y4'2 Who's Who in Animal Land — Speaking of 

Animals (9 m.) Jan. 19 

R4-4 Out Fishin' — Sportlight (9 m.) Jan. 26 

E4-2 Pop-Pie- Ala-Mode— Popeye (7m.) Jan. 26 

P4-3 When G. I. Johnny Comes Home — 

Noveltoon (8m.) Feb. 2 

J4-3 Popular Science No. 3 (10 m.) Feb. 16 

R4-5 Blue Winners — Sportlight (9 m.) Feb. 23 

D4-3 Magicalulu — Little Lulu (7 m.) Mar. 2 

L4-3 Unusual Occupations No. 3 (10 m.) Mar. 9 

Y4-3 In the Public Eye — Speak, of Animals (8m) .Mar. 16 
E4-3 Tops in the Big Top — Popeye (6 m.) Mar. 16 



U4-4 Jasper Tell — Puppetoon (8 m.) Mar. 23 

R4-6 Game Bag— Sportlight (9 m.) Mar. 30 

P4-4 Scrappily Married — Noveltoon (8 m.) Mar. 30 

J4-4 Popular Science No. 4 (10 m.) Apr. 6 

D4-4 Beau Ties— Little Lulu (7 m.) Apr. 20 

E4-4 Shape Ahoy — Popeye Apr. 27 

R4-7 White Rhapsody — Sportlight (9 m.) May 4 

L4-4 Unusual Occupations No. 4 (10 m.) May 11 

Y4-4 Talk of the Town — Speak, of Animals 

(9 m.) May 18 

U4-5 Jasper's Minstrels — Puppetoon (9 m.) May 25 

D4-5 Slap Happy— Little Lulu May 25 

J4-5 Popular Science No. 5 June 1 

E4-5 For Better or Nurse — Popeye June 8 

Paramount — Two Reels 

FF4-2 Star Bright— Musical Parade (20 m.) Dec. 15 

FF4-3 Bombalera— Musical Parade (20 m.) Feb. 9 

FF4-4 Isle of Tabu — Musical Parade (17 m.) Apr. 13 

FF4-5 Boogie Woogie — Musical Parade (17 m.)..June 15 

Republic — Two Reels 

481 Zorro's Black Whip — Lewis-Stirling 

(12 episodes) Dec. 16 

482 Manhunt of Mystery Island — Bailey-Stirling 

(15 episodes) Mar. 17 

483 Federal Operator 99 (12 episodes) July 7 

RKO — One Reel 

54106 Tiger Trouble— Disney (7 m.) Jan. 5 

54204 Flicker Flashbacks No. 4 (9 m.) Jan. 19 

54107 The Clock Watcher— Disney (8 m.) Jan. 26 

54306 Court Craft — Sportscope (8 m.) Jan. 26 

54307 Ski Gulls— Sportscope (7 m.) Feb. 23 

54205 Flicker Flashbacks No. 5 (9 m.) Mar. 2 

54308 Athlete of the Year — Sportscope (8 m.) . . .Mar. 23 

54109 The Eyes Have It— Disney (7 m.) Mar. 30 

54206 Flicker Flashbacks No. 6 (8 m.) Apr. 13 

54309 Timber Doodles — Sportscope (8 m.) Apr. 20 

54110 African Diary — Disney (7 m.) Apr. 20 

54111 Donald's Crime — Disney (7 m.) May 11 

RKO — Two Reels 

53402 Ali Baba— Edgar Kennedy (18 m.) Jan. 5 

53103 Power Unlimited — This is America (17 m.).Jan. 19 

53104 On Guard— This is America (17 m.) Feb. 9 

53703 Birthday Blues— Leon Errol (17 m.) Feb. 16 

53403 Sleepless Tuesday— Edgar Kennedy (18m.) .Feb. 23 

53105 Honorable Discharge — This is America 

(17 m.) Mar. 9 

53204 Swing Fever — Headliners (19 m.) Mar. 16 

53106 Guam-Salvaged Island — This is America 

(17 min.) Apr. 13 

53107 Dress Parade — This Is America (16 m.) . . .May 4 

53704 Let's Go Stepping — Leon Errol ( 17 m.) ....May 4 

Twentieth Century-Fox — One Reel 

5509 Mighty Mouse 6? the Pirate — Terry. (6m.). .Jan. 12 

5257 Canyons of the Sun — Adventure (8 m.) (re.). Jan. 19 
5302 Steppin' Pretty — Sports. (8 m.) Jan. 19 

5510 Port of Missing Mice — Terrytoon (6]/ 2 m.) . .Feb. 2 

5353 Nova Scotia— Sports (8 m.) Feb. 9 

5511 Ants in Your Pantry — Terrytoon (6m.) . . .Feb. 16 

5255 City of Paradox — Adventure (8 m.) Mar. 2 

5512 Raiding the Raiders — Terrytoon (7 m.) . . . .Mar. 9 

5256 Alaskan Grandeur — Adventure (8 m.) Mar. 16 

5513 Post War Inventions — Terrytoon (7 m.) . . .Mar. 23 

5258 Land of 10,000 Lakes— Adventure 

(8 m.) (re.) Mar. 30 

5514 Fisherman's Luck — Terrytoon (7 m.) (re.).. Apr. 6 

5260 Sikhs of Patiala — Adventure (8 m.) Apr. 13 

5515 Mighty Mouse & the Kilkenny Cats — 

Terrytoon (7 m.) (re.) Apr. 27 

5259 Isle of Romance- — Adventure (8 m.) (re.).. May 4 

5516 Mother Goose Nightmare — Terrytoon 

(7 m.) (re.) May 11 

5517 Smoky Joe — Terrytoon (7 m.) May 25 

5354 Down the Fairway — Sports (8m.) June 1 

5518 The Silver Streak — Terrytoon (7 min.) ... .June 8 
5902 Do You Remember? — Lew Lahr (8 m.) 

(formerly "Good Old Days".) June 22 

5519 Aesops Fable — The Mosquito — Terrytoon 

(7 m.) June 29 

5201 Modeling for Money — Adventure (8 m.) ...July 6 
Mighty Mouse & the Wolf — Terrytoon 

(7m.) July 20 

5261 The Empire State— Adventure (8 m.) July 27 



May 19, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS Partial Index 



Page D 



Twentieth Century-Fox — Two Reels 

Vol. 11 No. 6 — Report on Italy — March of 

Time (17 m.) Jan. 26 

Vol. 1 1 No. 7 — The West Coast Question — March of 

Time (16 m.) Feb. 23 

Vol. 1 1 No. 8 — Memo from Britain — March of 

Time (16 m.) Mar. 23 

Vol.11 No. 9 — The Returning Veteran — March of 

Time (18 min.) Apr. 20 

Universal — One Reel 

9234 Pied Piper of Basin St. — Cartune (7 m.) Jan. II 

9373 ABC Pin-up— Per. Odd. (9 m.) Jan. 15 

9374 Pigtail Pilot— Per. Odd. (9 m.) Jan. 22 

9354 White Treasure— Var. Views (9 m.) Jan. 29 

9236 Chew Chew Baby— Cartune (7 m.) Feb. 5 

9237 Sliphorn King of Polaroo — Cartune (7 m.) . .Mar. 19 

9238 Woody Dines Out — Cartune (7 m.) May 14 

9375 Author in Babyland— Per. Odd. (9 m.) May 14 

Universal — Two Reels 

9124 Jive Busters — Musical (15 m.) Jan. 17 

9581 Invitation to Death — Jungle Queen No. I 

(17 m.) Jan. 23 

9582 Jungle Sacrifice — Jungle Queen No. 2 (17m) .Jan. 30 

9583 The Flaming Mountain — Jungle Queen No. 3 

(17 m.) Feb. 6 

9584 Wild Cats Stampede — Jungle Queen No. 4 

(17 m.) Feb. 13 

9125 Melody Parade— Musical (15 m.) Feb. 14 

9585 The Burning Jungle — Jungle Queen No. 5 

(17 m.) Feb. 20 

9586 Danger Ship — Jungle Queen No. 6 (17 m.).Fcb. 27 

9126 Swing Serenade — Musical (15 m.) Feb. 28 

9587 Trip Wire Murder — Jungle Queen No. 7 

(17 m.) Mar. 6 

9588 The Mortar Bomhi — Jungle Queen No. 8 

(17 m.) Mar. 13 

9589 Death Watch— Jungle Queen No. 9 (17 m.). Mar. 20 

9590 Execution Chamber — Jungle Queen No. 10 

(17 m.) Mar. 27 

9591 The Trail to Doom — Jungle Queen No. 11 

(17 m.) Apr. 3 

9592 Dragged Under — Jungle Queen No. 12 

(17 m.) Apr. 10 

9593 The Secret of the Sword — Jungle Queen No. 13 

(17 m.) Apr. 17 

9881 The Master Key— Stone Wiley (13 

episodes) Apr. 24 

9127 Rockabyc Rhythm — Musical (15 m.) June 20 

Vitaphone — One Reel 

1721 Herr Meets Hare — Bugs Bunny (7 m.) Jan. 13 

1503 Glamour in Sports — Sports (10 m.) Jan. 13 

1306 Fella with a Fiddle— Hit. Par. (7 m.) Jan. 20 

1606 Rhythm of the Rhumba — Mel. Mas. (10 m.).Jan. 27 

1701 Draftee Daffy — Looney Tune (7 m.) Jan. 27 

1504 Bikes and Skis— Sports (10 m.) Feb. 10 

1722 Unruly Hare— Bugs Bunny (7 m.) Feb. 10 

1307 When I Yoo Hoo— Hit Parade (7 m.) Feb. 24 

1702 Trap Happy Porky — Dooney Tune (7 m.).. .Feb. 24 

1505 Cuba Calling— Sports (10 m.) Mar. 10 

1404 Overseas Roundup — Varieties (10 m.) Mar. 17 

1308 I Only Have Eyes for You— Hit Par. (7 m.) .Mar. 17 

1607 Musical Mexico — Merrie Melody (7 m.)... .Mar. 24 

1703 Life with Feathers — Mer. Mel. (7 m.) Mar. 24 

1506 Swimcapades — Sports (10 m.) Apr. 7 

1704 Behind the Meat Ball — Looney Tune (7 m.) . Apr. 7 

1309 Ain't We Got Fun— Hit Par. (7 m.) Apr. 21 

1723 Hare Trigger- — Bugs Bunny (7 m.) (re.) . . . .May 5 

1608 Circus Band— Mel. Mas. (10 m.) (re.) May 5 

1507 Water Babies— Sports (10 m.) (re.) May 19 

1705 Ain't that Ducky — Looney Tune (7 m.) (re.) .May 19 

1706 Gruesome Twosome — Mer. Mel. (7 m.) (re.). May 26 

1405 Overseas Roundup No. 2 — Varieties (10 m.) .May 26 

1508 Mexican Sea Sports- — Sports (10 m.) (re.).. June 2 

1509 Bahama Sea Sports — Sports (10 m.) June 19 

1609 Bands Across the Sea — Mel. Mas. (10 m.) . .June 23 

1510 Flivver Flying— Sports (10 m.) June 30 

1707 Tale of Two Mice — Looney Tune (7 m.) . . . .June 30 



Vitaphone — Two Reels 

1002 Beachhead to Berlin— Special (20 m.) Jan. 6 

1106 Congo — Featurette (20 m.) Feb. 17 

1003 Pledge to Bataan— Special (20 m.) Feb. 3 

1107 Navy Nurse — Featurette (20 m.) Mar. 3 

1109 Are Animals Actors? — Featurette (20 m.)..Mar. 31 

1 1 10 Law of the Badlands — Featurette (20 m.) . . .Apr. 14 

1108 It Happened in Springfield — Featurette 

(20 m.) Apr. 28 

1111 Plantation Models — Featurette (20 m.).... May 12 

1004 Coney Island Honeymoon — Special (re.) 

(20 m.) June 9 



NEWSWEEKLY 
NEW YORK 
RELEASE DATES 



Pathe News 

55177 Sat. (O) . . .May 19 
55278 Wed. (E) 
55179 Sat. (O) . 
55280 Wed. (E) 

55181 Sat. (O) . 

55282 Wed. (E) 

55182 Sat. (O) . 

55283 Wed. (E) 
55184 Sat. (O) . 
55285 Wed. (E) 
55186 Sat. (O) . 
55287 Wed. (E) 
55188 Sat. (O) . 
55289 Wed. (E) 
55190 Sat. (O) . 



Universal 



. .May 23 
. .May 26 
. .May 30 
.June 2 
.June 6 
.June 9 
.June 13 
.June 16 
.June 20 
.June 23 
.June 27 
.June 30 
..July 4 
..July 7 



Metrotone News 



272 


Thurs. (E) . 


. .May 17 


273 


Tues. (O) . . 


. . May 22 


274 


Thurs. (E) . 


. . May 24 


275 


Tues. (O) . . 


. .May 29 


276 


Thurs. (E) . 


. .May 31 


277 


Tues. (O). . 


. .June 5 


278 


Thurs. (E) . 


..June 7 


279 


Tues. (O) . . 


. .June 12 


280 


Thurs. (E) . 


. .June 14 


281 


Tues. (O).. 


. .June 19 


282 


Thurs. (E) . 


. .June 21 


283 


Tues. (O). . 


. .June 26 


284 


Thurs. (E) . 


. .June 28 


285 


Tups. (O) . . 


..July 3 


286 


Thurs. (E) . 


..July 5 



Paramount News 



74 


Thurs. (E) . . 


. .May 17 


75 


Sunday (O) . 


. .May 20 


76 


Thurs. (E) . . 


. .May 24 


77 


Sunday (O) . 


..May 27 


78 


Thurs. (E) . . 


..May 31 


79 


Sunday (O) . 


. .June 3 


SO 


Thurs. (E) . . 


..June 7 


81 


Sunday (O) . 


. .June 10 


82 


Thurs. (E) . . 


. .June 14 


8 3 


Sunday (O) . 


. June 17 


84 


Thurs. (E) . . 


. .June 21 


85 


Sunday (O) . 


. .June 24 


86 


Thurs. (E) . . 


. .June 28 


87 


Sunday (O) . 


..July 1 


88 


Thurs. (E) . . 


..July 5 



398 Thurs. (E) 

399 Tues. (O). 

400 Thurs. (E) 

401 Tues. (O). 

402 Thurs. (E) 

403 Tues. (O) . 

404 Thurs. (E) 

405 Tues. (O) . 

406 Thurs. (E) 

407 Tues. (O). 

408 Thurs. (E) , 

409 Tues. (O) . 

410 Thurs. (E) . 

411 Tues. (O) . 

412 Thurs. (E) . 



.May 17 
.May 22 
. May 24 
.May 29 
.May 31 
.June 5 
.June 7 
.June 12 
.June 14 
.June 19 
.June 21 
.June 26 
.June 28 
..July 3 
..July 5 



Fox Movietone 

74 Thurs. (E) May 17 

75 Tues. (O) May 22 

76 Thurs. (E) May 24 

77 Tues. (O) May 29 

78 Thurs. (E) May 31 

79 Tues. (O) June 5 

80 Thurs. (E) June 7 

81 Tues. (O) June 12 

82 Thurs. (E) June 14 

83 Tues. (O) June 19 

84 Thurs. (E) June 21 

85 Tues. (O) June 26 

86 Thurs. (E) June 28 

87 Tues. (O) July 3 

88 Thurs. (E) July 5 



All American News 

134 Friday May 18 

135 Friday May 25 

136 Friday June 1 

137 Friday June 8 

138 Friday June 15 

139 Friday June 22 

140 Friday June 29 

141 Friday July 6 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879, 



Harrison's Reports 

Yearly Subscription Rates: 1270 SIXTH AVENUE Published Weekly by 

United States $15.00 Knnm 1 «1 9 Harrison's Reports, Inc., 

U. S. Insular Possessions. 16.50 i\oora ioi^ Publisher 

Canada 16.50 New York 20, N. Y. P. S. HARRISON, Editor 

Great Britain' ^ Pa ' n 15 75 A Motion Picture Reviewing Service 

Australia New Zealand' Devoted Chiefly to the Interests of the Exhibitors Established July 1, 1919 

India, Europe, Asia.... 17.50 _. ,. _ , . _ . „ . , 

ik r> v ts Edl torial Policy: No Problem Too Big for Its Editorial Circle 7-4622 

ii>c a copy Columns, if It is to Benefit the Exhibitor. 



A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 



Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, MAY 26, 1945 No. 21 



REISSUES RUNNING RAMPANT 

In the May 17 issue of Motion Picture Daily, there 
appeared an item in which that paper claimed to 
have learned authoritatively that Universal Pictures 
was curtailing its production of "B" product as a 
result of the raw stock shortage. According to the 
Daily, "the company had planned to release 54 pic 
tures during the 1944-45 selling season and will be 
able to deliver only about 45 including four from in- 
dependents. 11 It was claimed that, because of the raw 
stock shortage, Universal had been compelled to delay 
the release of several films earlier in the season, and 
it was expected that also several more films set for 
release between now and the end of the season will 
have to be delayed. 

Having recalled that Universal had announced a 
few weeks ago that it would reissue "Destry Rides 
Again, 11 starring Marlene Dietrich, Harrison's Re- 
ports could not understand why the company, on 
the one hand, had insufficient raw film stock to take 
care of promised 1944-45 pictures, and, on the other 
hand, had sufficient raw stock to take care of new 
prints on a reissue. 

A telephone call to one of the Universal officials 
brought forth the response that the raw stock shortage 
was interfering with the delivery of his company's 
pictures, and that, unless the raw stock situation im- 
proved, fewer pictures would be released than had 
been planned. 

This executive was then asked how Universal could 
reissue "Destry Rides Again 11 when the raw stock on 
hand was insufficient to meet the needs of prints on 
new features, let alone a reissue? He replied that plans 
to reissue "Destry Rides Again" had been dropped, 
but that the company was preparing instead to reissue 
"Imitation of Life, 11 starring Claudette Colbert, and 
"East Side of Heaven, 11 starring Bing Crosby. He 
stated that new prints of these two reissues were 
being made, but he did not explain how the company 
could find sufficient raw stock for prints of reissues 
but not enough for prints of new features. 

What reasonable explanation, if any, can Uni- 
versal have? 

It cannot get away from the fact that its use of 
critical raw stock to reissue two old features, thus re- 
ducing the number of new features it promised to its 
1944-45 contract-holders, is a flagrant abuse of the 
faith that those contract-holders had in the company 
when they signed for the season's product. 

Universal, however, does not stand alone as an 
injudicious user of raw stock; other companies are 
equally guilty in the matter of reissuing old pictures 
at a time and in a manner that least serves the interests 
of the exhibitors. 

For instance, there is Paramount, which has just 
announced that it will reissue within the next two or 
three months Cecil B. DeMille's "Northwest Mount- 
ed Police, 11 starring Gary Cooper and Madeline Car- 



roll, and "This Gun for Hire, 11 starring Alan Ladd. 
The "Sign of the Cross, 11 another reissue, is presently 
making the rounds. 

Unlike Universal, which sells its pictures under the 
block-booking system, Paramount does not owe its 
customers a specific number of pictures and has made 
them no promises. Its contractual obligations to the 
exhibitors are limited to the number of pictures sold 
in a block after tradeshowing. In these times, how- 
ever, the judicious use of raw film stock is a moral 
obligation that it owes to every exhibitor, whose equity 
in this commodity is, as has been said in these columns 
many times, undeniable. Yet this company, which has 
the largest backlog of product in the industry, retains 
its finished pictures in its vaults, thereby aggravating 
further the artificial picture shortage, and then seeks 
to cash in on this condition by using rationed raw 
stock to reissue old pictures, which many exhibitors 
will not book, and which other exhibitors are com- 
pelled to book merely in order to keep their theatres 
open. 

In the same category with Paramount are the fol- 
lowing distributors: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which 
has reissued "Waterloo Bridge, 11 with Robert Taylor 
and Vivian Leigh, and "Naughty Marietta, 11 with 
Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy; Twentieth 
Century-Fox, which is reissuing "Call of the Wild, 11 
with Clark Gable; and Warner Brothers, which, 
although it has made only a small number of new 
prints of "Torrid Zone, 11 with James Cagney and 
Ann Sheridan, in order to release the picture "un- 
officially 11 on a territorial scale rather than on a na- 
tional scale, is guilty of having reissued on a national 
scale, during the 1943-44 selling season, a total of fif- 
teen pictures, which is more than the reissues of all 
the other companies combined. 

Although most of the companies make their old 
pictures available to the exhibitors, these are limited 
to spot bookings — that is, they are made available 
if the exchange has an old print on hand. There is 
nothing wrong with this practice, since no raw stock 
is used to make new prints. The condition complained 
of is where pictures are reissued on a national scale, 
with the result that new product is withheld and 
the product-shortage is aggravated under the pretext 
of a raw stock shortage. 

This reissue "racket" has gotten out of hand. The 
subsequent-run exhibitor is, of course, the goat. The 
extended runs in the key theatres have created a 
product jam, blocking the normal flow of pictures to 
such an extent that in some territories, as for ex- 
ample Minneapolis, a number of exhibitors are plan- 
ning to curtail their operations, some opening on 
week-ends only. Many of these exhibitors, regardless 
of their own wishes, must either book reissues or shut 
down. The distributors, aware of this predicament, 
have turned the reissue market into one of their most • 
(Continued on last page) 



82 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



May 26, 1945 



"Thrill of a Romance" with Van Johnson, 
Esther Williams nd Lauritz Melchoir 

(MGM, no release date set; time, 102 min.) 

There is no question that this romantic picture will 
do exceptional business. Van Johnson is one of the 
most popular stars today, and the picture has been 
photographed in enchanting Technicolor photogra- 
phy. But the story is trite; it deals with the romance 
of a young aviator on furlough who falls in love with 
a young woman, just married to a materialistic busi- 
ness man, and who is left alone when her husband, on 
their first day of marriage, takes a business trip. This 
theme has been done to death. Individual scenes, how- 
ever, and good acting as well as good music redeem it. 
The romantic scenes have been handled with good 
taste; the actors show restraint, and the music makes 
them so romantically sentimental that the spectator 
wishes that there had been no obstacle to their love. 
The music is effective particularly in the scenes where 
it accompanies the rhythmical movements of the swim- 
ming principals in a pool. Esther Williams is a beau- 
tiful girl, and Van Johnson is as charming as ever; 
they make a good romantic pair. Lauritz Melchior, 
the famous tenor, sings several classical pieces and 
some popular. He has a magnetic personality and adds 
to the picture's entertaining qualities. In some situ- 
ations he acts as a chapcrone to the two young folk, 
hopelessly in love with each other, but seemingly 
hopelessly separated. Mr. Melchior 's encouragement 
of a young colored boy, a singer, helps him win a 
greater share of the audience's sympathy. In the 
opening scenes, one gets the impression that the pic- 
ture would be a daring advertisement for Fortune 
Magazine, for it is boldly displayed and spoken about. 
Fortune could not have bought this plugging for one 
hundred thousand dollars: — 

On the day of their honeymoon, Carleton Young, 
a young business tycoon, who had swept Esther Wil- 
liams off her feet, leaves her at a resort and goes to 
Washington on an important business trip. While he 
is away, Esther becomes acquainted with Johnson, and 
the two fall madly in love with each other. On the 
morning that Young returns, Esther and Johnson are 
shown returning from the woods, where they had 
been lost overnight. His suspicions aroused, Young 
orders his lawyers to bring annulment proceedings. 
His action pleases, not only the two young folk, but 
also their friends at the resort. Melchior, happy that 
matters had turned out so well, assembles an orchestra 
to serenade the young couple, and he sings a romantic 
song. 

Richard Connell and Gladys Lehman wrote the 
screen play, Joe Pasternak produced it, and Richard 
Thorpe directed it. The cast includes Tommy Dorsey 
and his Orchestra, Frances Gifford, Henry Travers, 
Spring Byington and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Where Do We Go from Here?" with Fred 
MacMurray, Joan Leslie and June Haver 

(20th Century'Fox, June; time, 77 mm.) 
Very entertaining. Those of you who have been 
waiting for a musical that is "different" will find that 
this one fits the bill; it should go over pretty well with 
all types of audiences, for it has some excellent and 
original comedy situations, good Technicolor photog- 
raphy, and singing, dancing and music that should 
appeal to different tastes. Moreover, it has been given 
an imaginative treatment. For the most part, the story 
is an historical fantasy, revolving around the adven- 



tures of Fred MacMurray, a "4-F" with a burning 
desire to enter any branch of the armed services. With 
the aid of a genie from an Aladdin-like lamp, he finds 
himself whisked back hundreds of years, first appear- 
ing as a soldier with Washington's army at Valley 
Forge, secondly, as a sailor on Christopher Columbus' 
flagship, the Santa Maria, and finally as a Dutchman 
in the New Amsterdam era. In each of these episodes 
the comedy is provoked in the main by the fact that 
MacMurray, remembering his history, knows just 
what events will take place and guides himself ac- 
cordingly. While each episode is well done and is 
rich in satirical humor, the one dealing with Colum- 
bus' discovery of America, which is done in the "Gil- 
bert and Sullivan" manner, is by far the best. Mac- 
Murray is excellent, and he is given able support by 
the other members of the cast: — 

MacMurray, in love with June Haver, a flighty 
girl, but blind to Joan Leslie's love for him, collects 
scrap metal to aid the war effort. Finding an old lamp 
and rubbing it, MacMurray is astounded when a 
genie (Gene Sheldon) appears and informs him that 
he had the power to grant him three wishes. He ex- 
presses a desire to join the army and soon finds him- 
self with Washington (Alan Mowbray) at Valley 
Forge. His efforts to help Washington capture the 
Hessians ends in his own capture, causing him to wish 
that he joined the navy. The genie obliges by whisking 
him onto the Santa Maria, where he helps put down 
a mutiny against Columbus (Fortunio Bononova). 
When Columbus stops at Cuba, MacMurray con- 
tinues to America, where he becomes involved in a 
badger game with an Indian and his squaw (Anthony 
Qumn and June Haver), who sell him Manhattan 
Island for twenty-four dollars. Recalling his history, 
MacMurray wishes he could sell the island to the 
Dutch settlers. The genie obliges him once again, and 
MacMurray finds himself in New Amsterdam, where 
the crafty Dutchmen cheat him out of his property 
and jail him for non-payment of taxes. Though all 
seems lost, the genie grants MacMurray an extra 
wish and, through his magic powers, brings him back 
to the present day and arranges for his induction into 
the Marines despite his "4-F" status. 

Morrie Ryskind wrote the screen play, William 
Perlberg produced it, and Gregory Ratoff directed it. 
The cast includes Carlos Ramirez, Herman Bing, 
Howard Freeman and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Blonde from Brooklyn" with Robert 
Stanton and Lynn Merrick 

(Columbia, June 21; time, 65 min.) 
Just a minor program comedy, with music. When- 
ever the principals sing, the picture manages to be 
fairly entertaining, but as soon as they go back to the 
story it become tiresome, for it is all talk and no action. 
Moreover, the plot developments are trite and obvi- 
ous, the dialogue uninteresting, and the comedy for 
the most part ineffective. Robert Stanton, the hero, 
was formerly known as Bob Haymes. He is a Colum- 
bia contract player, and has appeared in a number of 
their minor pictures. The production values are mod- 
est: — 

Released from the army, Stanton, a former song- 
and-dance man, makes the acquaintance of Lynn Mer- 
rick, a juke-box girl, who hoped to become a radio 
singer. When they take part in an impromptu song 
routine at a night club, the young couple are ap- 
proached by Thurston Hall, a Southern Colonel of 



May 26, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



83 



questionable repute, who persuades them to appoint 
him their manager. Hall coaches the pair to talk and 
act like Southerners, in preparation for an audition 
on a radio program that specialised in Southern at- 
mosphere, and he gives Lynn the name of an esteemed 
but extinct Southern family. The young folk win a 
place on the program, and get so much publicity that 
Lynn is "discovered' 1 to be the long lost heiress to the 
Southern family's estate. To stop Lynn from confess- 
ing her duplicity, Hall, seeking to get his hands on the 
fortune, arranges with Matt Willis, a confederate, 
to pose as another lost heir and to claim a share in 
the estate. They learn, however, that only a woman 
can inherit the estate. Stanton, unaware that Willis 
was a fake relative, suggests that Lynn marry him 
to collect the money and avoid unfavorable publicity, 
then divorce him. Meanwhile the real heir to the 
estate is found and Willis is exposed as a fake. Ang- 
ered because Stanton had suggested she marry Willis, 
Lynn, suspecting his motive, leaves him on the eve of 
their radio debut. Stanton locates her and, after con- 
vincing her that he, too, had been victimised by Hall, 
induces her to rejoin him. Their radio debut is a huge 
success. 

Erna Lasurus wrote the screen play, Ted Richmond 
produced it, and Del Lord directed it. The cast in- 
cludes Mary Treen, Byron Foulger and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"The Frozen Ghost" with Lon Chaney 
and Evelyn Ankers 

(Universal, June 29; time, 61 ruin.) 
The followers of psychological murder melodramas 
should find this program picture to their liking. The 
action, which revolves around a professional hypnotist 
who becomes obsessed with the idea that he is a 
murderer, unfolds in a fairly interesting manner and, 
though the story is far-fetched, it is mystifying and 
has considerable suspense. Much of the action takes 
place in a wax museum, giving the picture an effective 
eerie atmosphere. The mood of the story is one of 
brooding terror, with no comedy to relieve the ten- 
sion : — 

Lon Chaney and Evelyn Ankers, his fiancee, are 
teamed in a radio act in which she, through hynotic 
treatment from him, reads the minds of members in 
the studio audience. When a drunkard in the audi- 
ence questions Chaney 's hypnotic powers, Chaney 
agrees to put him in a trance. The man drops dead 
just as Chaney starts to work on him. Although a 
coroner's jury finds that the man had died of a heart 
condition, Chaney believes that he had caused the 
death. Brooding, he disbands the act and breaks his 
engagement to Evelyn. Through Milburn Stone, his 
manager, Chaney obtains employment in a wax mu- 
seum owned by Tala Birell, hoping the work will help 
him to rehabilitate himself. Martin Kosleck, Tala's 
eccentric assistant, a doctor in disrepute, hates Chaney 
because of a belief that he was in love with Elena 
Verdugo, Tala's niece. When both Tala and her 
niece disappear, Chaney, who had been suffering 
lapses of memory, fears that he might have killed 
them. Douglas Dumbrille, a detective, suspects Chan- 
ey because of his inability to account for his move- 
ments. In desperation, Chaney goes to Evelyn for 
help. He puts her in a trance and, through her psychic 
powers, learns that Kosleck and Stone were plotting 
to declare him insane in order to gain control of his 
fortune. To this end, they had planned the disappear- 
ance of the two women, and were trying to pin the 



guilt on him. Tala had been murdered, but Elena 
was still alive. On Evelyn's direction, and with the 
help of Dumbrille, Chaney manages to save Elena just 
as Kosleck prepares to burn her alive. Kosleck dies in 
the flaming furnace himself, and Stone is apprehended 
by the police. His obsession gone, Chaney reunites 
with Evelyn. 

Bernard Schubert and Luci Ward wrote the screen 
play, Will Cowan produced it, and Harold Young 
directed it. 

Rather horrifying for children. 

CANCEL A CONFUSING 

SHORT SUBJECT 

"Two Down and One to Go," the War Depart- 
ment short subject dealing with the point system 
under which soldiers will be released from the army, 
is being criticized severely by newspapers, exhibitors, 
and the general public throughout the country, on 
the grounds that it is spreading confusion among rela- 
tives of soldiers who, guided by the information con- 
tained in the picture, cannot figure out whether or 
not their loved ones are eligible for discharge from 
the army. 

The trouble with the picture is that it was pro- 
duced many months before V-E Day, and the demobi- 
lisation system as then planned has since been changed. 
Consequently, those viewing the picture come out of 
the theatre utterly confused by what they have seen 
and heard. 

Criticism of the picture has been so pronounced 
that Bob O'Donnell, general manager of the Inter- 
state Circuit in Texas, cancelled all showings of the 
picture, following a conference with War Depart- 
ment heads who unofficially expressed their disap- 
pointment in the picture and agreed that it was not 
suitable for public consumption. 

Meanwhile many exhibitors have taken steps to 
cancel their bookings of the picture. For instance, Pete 
Wood, secretary of the ITO of Ohio, issued a bulletin 
last week urging the members of his organisation not 
to play the short subject "because the antiquated 
point system will prove confusing to your patrons." 

This paper has learned from an official of the War 
Activities Committee that the War Department, al- 
though informed .that the picture is being criticized 
as obsolete, and that many exhibitors are cancelling 
bookings, has made no move to withdraw the picture 
from public exhibition. 

Harrison's Reports suggests that you do not wait 
for the picture to be withdrawn officially. If you have 
not yet played "One Down and Two to Go," you 
should not hesitate to cancel your booking at once. 
While all of you realise that the exhibition of Gov- 
ernment information shorts is a patriotic duty, you 
must consider that, in this particular case, the exhibi- 
tion of this short subject will serve, not to enlighten 
your patrons, but to confuse them. 

A new two-reel subject titled, "On To Tokyo," has 
just been rushed to completion by the War Depart- 
ment, and the War Activities Committee has an- 
nounced that the new picture will serve to supple- 
ment "One Down and Two to Go," in that die in- 
formation it contains about the demobilization and 
redeployment of troops is up to date and accurate. 
The picture will be released on May 31 through the 
Universal exchanges. 

You will do your patrons a service by booking "On 
to Tokyo" rather than "One Down and Two to Go." 



84 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



May 26, 1945 



profitable sidelines by demanding fantastic rental 
terms, in some cases better than the terms demanded 
when the pictures were originally released. And when 
one takes into consideration the fact that these re' 
issues have already earned back their original invest- 
ment plus profit, and that the only expense to the 
distributors now is the cost of prints and advertising, 
it becomes evident that the profits they are realizing 
probably exceed the profits made on many a new film. 

This paper has been in touch with a number of 
exhibitors to learn their reactions to reissues, and 
a consensus of their opinions is as follows: 

(a) Some will not book reissues under any circunv 
stances lest their theatres lose prestige. 

(b) In double feature situations, many find that 
the use of a reissue in support of a new feature causes 
a decline in attendance. If they cannot obtain a new 
"B" picture as the supporting picture, and they run 
only a single feature, a large percentage of their 
patrons stay away. 

(c) All agreed that rental terms for reissues are 
way out of line, but most of them admitted that spot 
bookings could be had at fairly reasonable terms. 

(d) All agreed that a large percentage of their 
patrons were tiring of "oldies." 

(e) Many felt that the distributors were juggling 
their raw stock allocations and releases in a manner 
aimed at perpetuating a "seller's market" through 
the maintainence of an artificial product shortage, thus 
leaving them in a position to dictate their own terms. 

The root of the abuses the exhibitors are undergoing 
today lies in the tailure of the War Production Board 
to regulate the producer-distributors' use of raw 
stock. Under proper control, Universal would not be 
permitted to cut down arbitrarily the delivery of new 
pictures, an act that serves to tighten further the 
product shortage, and to set the stage for the sale of the 
reissues, the prints of which will come from raw 
stock that could have been used for prints of new 
features. And Paramount and some of the other com- 
panies would not be permitted to produce a limitless 
number of pictures with rationed raw stock only to 
hoard them in their vaults, marking time while the 
reissues make the rounds. Moreover, none of the com- 
panies would be permitted to use its raw stock allo- 
cation to further its own interests in foreign markets 
while the American exhibitors go hungry for pictures. 

The motion picture industry is a competitive busi- 
ness, a sort of "survival of the fittest," but without 
raw film stock there would be no industry, for every 
phase of the business depends upon its availability. 
When the Government undertakes to control the 
amount of raw stock the industry should receive, it 
automatically places restrictions and limitations on 
free and open competition. It, therefore, assumes at 
once the responsibility to see that all parties con- 
cerned either benefit or suffer proportionately. Under 
the present set-up, the producer-distributors and the 
key-run theatres are having the time of their lives, 
while the subsequent-run exhibitor has to stand by 
d.nd lick his wounds. 

An immediate remedy is needed. The situation is 
too far gone for long drawn-out industry- Govern- 
ment conferences to find a solution. The Government, 
through its Department of Justice, is well acquainted 
with industry practices and abuses, and it could easily 
determine how seriously the producer-distributors 1 
uncontrolled disposition of raw stock is affecting the 
smaller fellow in the business. This is war-time, and 
the Government, through its rationing of raw stock 
and its restrictions on other commodities and man- 



power used in the functions of the business, is already 
in partial control of the industry. It is apparent that 
this control is either insufficient in extent or injudici- 
ous in its exercise. An overhauling is necessary so long 
as we continue to operate under war-time conditions. 

Mr. Stanley Adams, head of the WPB's Con- 
sumers Durable Goods Division, has been informed 
by numerous exhibitor organizations of the abuses 
suffered by the subsequent-run exhibitors under the 
present system of raw stock allocation, and he has 
stated that the distribution of prints must be on a 
fair and equal basis for all or the WPB will bring 
immediate action for relief. He made that statement 
months ago, but he has never gone beyond the talking 
stage. His laxity has thus far proved harmful, and, 
based on his performance to date, there is every reason 
to believe that under him conditions will grow worse. 

Take the matter up with your Congressional repre- 
sentatives. Perhaps they will help you find some way 
of getting Mr. Adams to match his words with actions. 



"CALL OF THE WILD" TO BE MADE 
AVAILABLE ON JUNE 15 

In the issues of May 5 and May 12, this paper 
complained vehemently about the failure of Twenti- 
eth Century- Fox to deliver to numerous exhibitors 
the Clark Gable reissue, "Call of the Wild." And, 
as it is evident from a reading of those issues, this 
paper carried directly to both Twentieth Century- 
Fox and MGM, its campaign to have the picture 
made available to the Fox customers. 

The controversy came to a close last week when 
Tom Connors, the Twentieth Century-Fox Vice 
President in charge of world-wide distribution, issued 
the following statement : 

" 'Call of the Wild' will be made available for 
bookings beginnings June 1 5 th. The picture was with- 
drawn from release sometime ago because of legal 
complications. Clark Gable's services for the picture 
had been loaned by Metro and it was claimed that 
certain restrictive provisions in the agreement for the 
loan of that star's services had been violated. These 
difficulties have now been ironed out, thereby clear- 
ing the way for the picture's release." 

Although this explanation is somewhat ambiguous, 
it would serve no useful purpose to delve deeper into 
the causes that impelled Twentieth Century-Fox to 
withhold the picture. The important thing is that the 
picture will now be made available, and that the valu- 
able and critical raw stock that had gone into the 
processing of new prints will be put to proper use. 

Mr. Connors' statement, however, made no men- 
tion of what procedure will be followed in making 
the picture available to those exhibitors who bought 
it as part of a group, only to find it omitted from the 
approved contracts. 

These exhibitors should be given the picture in ac- 
cordance with the terms originally agreed upon be- 
tween themselves and the company's sales representa- 
tives. Only then will Twentieth Century-Fox be able 
to write finis satisfactorily to an issue that should 
never have been permitted to arise. 

Harrison's Reports wishes to acknowledge that 
it first learned about the "Call of the Wild" situation 
from the communications sent out by Abram F. 
Myers, general counsel of National Allied and Pete 
Wood of the Independent Theatre Owners of Ohio. 

Exhibitors everywhere owe a vote of thanks to 
these men for starting the campaign that resulted in 
the picture's release. 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 187?. 



Harrison's Reports 

Yearly Subscription Rates: 1270 SIXTH AVENUE Published Weekly by 

United States $15.00 , Rnnm 1R12 Harrison's Reports, Inc., 

U. S. Insular Possessions. 16.50 ftoum ioi£ Publisher 

Canada 16.50 New York 20, N. Y. P. S. HARRISON, Editor 

Mexico, Cuba, Spain 16.50 . .. _. . „ . 

PrAat Rritn'n Till A Motion Picture Reviewing Service 

Australia ^ New' Zealand' Devoted Chiefly to the Interests of the Exhibitors Established July 1, 1919 

India, Europe, Asia .... 17.50 ^ Editorial Policy: No Problem Too Big for Its Editorial Circle 7-4622 

i5c a copy Columns, if It is to Benefit the Exhibitor. 

A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 

Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, JUNE 2, 1945 No. 22 



THE RECESSION IS ON 

The transition from a war economy to a peace 
economy is actually under way, and with such rapidity 
that the predictions about a general business decline, 
made only a few weeks ago by business experts, have 
already come to pass. 

From areas throughout the country we hear of sharp 
contract cutbacks, with the resulting jump in unem' 
ployment, and with reduced earnings to those still 
employed. The vast Willow Run airplane plant near 
Detroit is scheduled to close down within four weeks, 
adding thousands to the unemployed ranks in that 
area. Many more thousands of war workers will be 
discharged within a few weeks as the result of the 
drastic curtailment in aircraft production in manu- 
facturing centers located at Buffalo, St. Louis, Los 
Angeles, Long Beach and other areas. 

Early last week, J. A. Krug, chairman of the War 
Production Board, revealed that cutbacks already in- 
stituted have slashed some seven billion dollars from 
the munitions program for 1945, and he stated that 
"the military services are now reviewing their re- 
quirements and within a few weeks it is expected that 
another large step-down will be ordered." 

Mr. Krug estimated that, three months from now, 
the war machine will need 2,900,000 fewer workers, 
boosting the ranks of the unemployed from the cur- 
rent 800,000 to 1,900,000. Six months from now, he 
said, the number of persons no longer needed for war 
activities will amount to 4,800,000, including one 
million discharged servicemen. 

Civilian production will, of course, to a large ex- 
tent, absorb many war workers and reduce the over- 
all unemployment considerably, but it should be re- 
membered that short period lay-offs and decreased 
individual incomes will definitely result in a general 
business decline. 

The different distributing companies are bringing 
their 1944-45 selling seasons to a close, and a number 
of them are already laying the groundwork to launch 
their selling campaigns for the 1945-46 season's prod- 
uct. You may be sure that they are planning to get 
as much rental this year as they received last year. 

For the past few years money has been plentiful 
and one dime more or less for a moving picture ticket, 
or attending the movies more frequently each week 
than normally, did not make much difference to the 
majority of picture-goers. But conditions are already 
beginning to change. Reduced earnings and the 
thought of possible lay-offs are making people thrifty, 
and they are starting to stint themselves on extra 
luxuries. Many who have been attending picture 
shows two and three times a week will now attend 
on week-ends only. 



Before signing up for the new season's pictures, you 
should bear in mind that from now on, with each 
passing month, business receipts will decline steadily 
because of reduced incomes. Even if our country is 
destined to enjoy the greatest peace-time prosperity 
in its history, you may be sure that for the next year, 
during the period of reconversion, the public's pocket- 
book will not be bulging with extra dollars. Some 
industryites feel that reduced incomes will draw 
patronage away from the higher-priced theatres to 
the subsequent-runs and neighborhoods, thus bene- 
fitting the smaller fellow. While this reasoning is 
logical, you should not expect the first-run theatres 
to sit back and do nothing about such a condition. In 
all probability they will reduce admission prices and 
offer extra entertainment to lure their patrons back. 
They have done this before, and you may expect 
them to do it again. 

You should, therefore, use extreme caution in esti- 
mating the amount of film rental your theatre can 
afford to pay in accordance with coming conditions. 
Take into consideration the possibility of large-scale 
unemployment in your community, the exodus from 
your town of transient war-time workers, and the gen- 
eral downward trend of individual incomes, which 
will undoubtedly affect the lush box-office receipts of 
the last few years. Consider every factor carefully, 
for it is better to take precautions now than to find 
yourself later, hat in hand, seeking adjustments. 



EVEN IN CRITICISM LET US BE FAIR 

The strong criticism fiom the press and the eA- 
hibitors regarding the confusion caused by the short 
subject, "Two Down and One to Go," has resulted in 
an order from the War Department withdrawing the 
picture from public exhibition. 

Pete Wood, secretary of the ITO of Ohio, who, 
among others, was highly critical of this subject, states 
in a recent organisation bulletin that "all of the agi- 
tation in connection with this subject would have 
been avoided if the War Activities Committee and 
Loew's, Inc., had given more consideration to our 
theatre patrons than to the desires of a few high 
Washington officials." Wood chides Loew's for not 
expending half as much time and energy in convincing 
the War Department to withdraw the picture as it 
spent in distributing it. And he adds the hope that 
the future will bring forth some intelligent individual 
in New York who has the "intestinal fortitude" to 
refuse flatly the wishes of the Government should a 
similar occasion arise. 

It is difficult to understand Pete Wood's line of 
reasoning in his condemnation of both the WAC and 
(Continued on last page) 



86 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



June 2, 1945 



"The Way Ahead" with David Niven 

(20t/i CenturyFux, January; time, 106 mm.) 

"The Way Ahead" is a superior British-made war 
melodrama, one of the best produced in recent years. 
From a box-office point of view , however, its chances 
are only fair, for today American audiences arc shy- 
ing away from most war pictures. Moreover, the 
players, with the exception of David Niven, are un- 
known in this country, and their British accents are 
so thick that many patrons may find some of the 
dialogue unintelligible. The performances, however, 
are excellent. Those who will see the picture should 
find it very satisfactory, for it is a stirring, human 
story about a group of British Tommies, depicting 
their reactions to army life from the time they start 
as rebellious recruits drafted from civilian life to the 
time they become finished fighting men. 

It is a simple, well-constructed story, told with 
realism and with a human touch. It tells how a group 
of typical British men, of different ages and of varied 
stations in life, are plucked from civilian life to serve 
their country in the army. Some go willingly while 
others resent openly the circumstances that tcx>k them 
away from the comfort of their homes and from the 
things they loved. Each gripes about the rigors of 
army life, finding fault with their sergeant and gen- 
erally behaving in a disgruntled manner, but their 
commanding officer, understanding human frailties 
and realizing that their untrained bodies were under- 
going unaccustomed stress, patiently endures their 
bad tempers and complaints, and slowly but surely 
moulds them into a smooth-working, cooperatvie 
fighting team, eager to uphold the honor of their 
regiment. This they do in a thrilling sequence in 
which their troopship, bound for the invasion of 
North Africa, is torpedoed, and in a closing sequence, 
where they best the Nazis in an exciting Tunisian 
battle. 

The story's simplicity and straightforwardness, the 
excellent characterizations, and the natural dialogue 
are the picture's outstanding qualities. It has con- 
siderable good humor, too, and a number of heart- 
tugging situations. David Niven's portrayal of the 
understanding officer is well done; his consideration 
for his men as he leads them through their military 
infancy eventually wins him their unified admiration. 

Eric Ambler and Peter Ustinov wrote the screen 
play, Norman Walker and John Sutro produced it, 
and Carol Reed directed it. The cast includes Ray- 
mond Huntley, Billy Hartnell, Stanley Holloway, 
and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Back to Bataan" with John Wayne 
and Anthony Quinn 

(RKO, no release date set; time, 95 min.) 
Revolving around Filipino resistance against the 
Japanese invaders, this war melodrama, though not 
exceptional, is a fairly good picture of its type. Its box- 
office possibilities can best be judged by whether or 
not your patrons are now receptive to war pictures. It 
should be pointed out, however, that, since the story's 
locale is in the Philippines, and since the Japanese 
have not yet been cleared from the islands, the picture 
is timely and lends itself to extensive exploitation. But 
except for its locale and its people, the story, which is 
supposedly based on actual facts, differs little in con- 
tent and in treatment from the numerous war pictures 
that have been based on a similar theme ; nevertheless, 



the action is packed with thrills and excitement, and 
considerable stress is placed on Jap bestiality. As a 
matter of fact, a few of the scenes are too brutal for 
children. Both at the beginning and at the end of the 
picture, the producers have employed sequences deal- 
ing with the raid on the Cabanatuan Prison Camp, 
from which American prisoners were freed, effective- 
ly tying in the scenes with the main story, which covers 
the period from the fall of Bataan to the landings on 
Leyte: — 

With the fall of Bataan, Colonel John Wayne is 
ordered to the Luzon hills to organize native guerrilla 
bands. In need of a patriot around whom he could 
rally the natives, Wayne rescues from the Japs Cap- 
tain Anthony Quinn of the Philippine Scouts. Quinn, 
embittered because his sweetheart (Fely Franquelli) 
had turned collaborator, refuses to lead his people to 
further slaughter, but when Wayne proves to him 
that Fely was feigning collaboration and was actually 
aiding the resistance movement secretly, he takes on 
new courage. Under Wayne s leadership, the guer- 
rillas, lacking arms, munitions and food, waylay 
Japanese patrols to build up their supplies. The Japs 
alarmed over the increasing resistance, intensify their 
activities against the guerrillas, but their brutalities 
serve only to strengthen the determination of the 
Filipinos to set their country free. After many months 
of hardship, American submarines bring weapons and 
supplies to the valiant natives, and finally, on Leyte, 
having received news of the proposed American land- 
ings, Wayne organizes a surprise attack dn an enemy 
post, holding back the Jap forces from counter- 
attacking until American troops secure their beach- 
head. 

Ben Barzman and Richard Landau wrote the screen 
play, Robert Fellows produced it, and Edward Dmy- 
tryk directed it. The cast includes Beulah Bondi, 
Richard Loo, Philip Ahn, Ducky Louie, Lawrence 
Tierney, Abner Biberman, Vladimir Sokoloff and 
others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Blonde Ransom" with Donald Cook 
and Virginia Grey 

(Universal, June 15; time, 68 min.) 

This comedy with music is just moderately enter- 
taining program fare. The story is feeble and some- 
what nonsensical, but it may appeal to those who can 
overlook poor story values, for there are a few gags 
that are funny and at times the situations, a few of 
which are slapstick, provoke considerable laughter. 
Moreover, the action moves at a snappy pace. The 
music, though not exceptional, is tuneful. There is 
nothing in the plot to direct an appeal to the emotions 
of sympathy : — 

After losing $63,000 to gangsters in a crooked 
poker game, Donald Cook is compelled to give them 
the deed to his night club as security for the debt, 
payable within one week. On his way home, Cook 
is injured in an automobile collision with Virginia 
Grey, a heiress, who takes him to her home. Vir- 
ginia's uncle, George Barbier, anticipated a law suit, 
but Cook, instead of suing, offers to sell him a part 
interest in the night-club for $63,000. Barbier re- 
fuses. Virginia, in love with Cook, determines to 
help him out of his predicament. She stages her own 
"kidnapping" and demands $63,000 ransom. Hood- 
winked by the ruse, Barbier delivers the money to a 
place designated by Virginia. The money, however, 



June 2, 1945 



87 



falls into the hands of Collette Lyofts and Pinky Lee, 
entertainers at the club, who rush to Cook. They 
reach the club just as the gangsters arrive, demanding 
the cash Cook owed them or the club. Meanwhile 
Barbier, recalling that Cook had asked him to invest 
$63,000 in the club, connects him with the kidnapping 
and rushes to the club with the police. There, a series 
of legal complications arise relative to the kidnapping 
laws and, in the ensuing confusion, everyone, includ- 
ing Barbier, Cook, and Virginia, are taken to jail. The 
gangsters are sent to prison for breaking their paroles, 
and Barbier, using his political influence, convinces 
the judge that he and the others were innocent. He 
celebrates their release from jail by buying an interest 
in the night-club, where he arranges for the marriage 
of Cook and Virginia. 

M. Coates Webster wrote the screen play, Gene 
Lewis produced it, and William Beaudine directed 
it. The cast includes Jerome Cowan, George Meeker, 
Ian Wolfe, and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Twice Blessed" with Preston Foster, 
Gail Patrick, Lee Wilde 
and Lyn Wilde 

(MGM, no release date set; time, 76 min.) 

A very entertaining comedy, of above average pro- 
gram grade. It has the benefit of an amusing plot, 
breezy action, good comedy situations, and it is pleas- 
ant. The story revolves around identical twin sisters, 
one a jitterbug and the other an intellectual, who 
switch identities in an effort to reconcile their divorced 
parents, each of whom had custody of one of the 
girls. Many laugh-provoking entanglements result as 
the girls, to carry out their scheme, find it necessary 
to mix with each other's friends, with whom they 
were unacquainted, and even to romance with each 
other's boy-friend. Lee and Lyn Wilde look so alike 
that, if it were not for the clearly defined script, even 
the spectator would have difficulty in telling them 
apart. Several entertaining jitterbug sequences have 
been worked into the plot to good effect : — 

Raised by her father (Preston Foster), an easy- 
going newspaperman, Lee had grown into a sixteen- 
year-old "jitterbug." But her twin sister, Lyn, raised 
by her mother (Gail Patrick), a child psychologist, 
had become a sedate, brilliant student. Gail and 
Foster had agreed to a divorce because of their dif- 
ferent views on how to raise the girls. Returning 
from abroad after an absence of five years, Gail brings 
Lyn to Foster's apartment for a visit. Slipping away 
into Lee's room, the youngsters decide to try on each 
other's clothes. At that moment, Gail, following a 
quarrel with Foster, breaks into the room to take Lyn 
home, but unwittingly rushes out with Lee. The twins 
decide to continue the deception as a means of bring- 
ing their parents together. Lee, living luxuriously in 
a swank hotel, enjoys life no end, even romancing with 
Jimmy Lydon, Lyn's boyfriend. Lyn, too, finds life 
different through her association with Lee's "jitter- 
bug" set, particularly Marshall Thompson, Lee's boy- 
friend. Matters become complicated when Lyn and 
Marshall become involved in a dance-hall brawl, and 
Gloria Hope, a newspaper woman who had matri- 
monial designs on Foster, obtains photographs of the 
fight and threatens to publish them unless Foster 
agrees to marry her. When the girls learn of this, and 
also of their mother's intention to marry a politician, 
they decide to act. They recover the negatives with 



the aid of the friends, then march to a political meet- 
ing to prevent Gail from announcing her engagement 
to the politician. Then, lest Gail point to the dance- 
hall brawl to prove that Foster knew nothing about 
raising a child, the girls reveal their dual masquerade. 
The humor of the situation cements their parent's 
broken marriage. 

Ethel Hill wrote the screen play, Arthur L. Freed 
produced it, and Harry Beaumont directed it. The 
cast includes Richard Gaines and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"Nob Hill'* with George Raft, 
Joan Bennett and Vivian Blaine 

(20th Century-Fox, July; time, 95 min.) 

San Francisco's Barbary Coast at the turn of the 
century (a favorite locale with the producers this 
season) serves as the background for this lavishly pro- 
duced Technicolor extravaganza; it should prove to 
be a most satisfying entertainment, for, despite its 
conventional story, it has emotional appeal and tender 
pathos. Other features that will surely please the 
rank-and-file are the beautiful girls, the sparkling 
dance numbers, the melodious music, and the roman- 
tic involvements centering around a two-fisted Bar- 
bary Coast saloon keeper who becomes infatuated 
with a Nob Hill socialite while ignoring his true love, 
a singer in his cafe. George Raft as the saloon owner, 
does well in a typical role, the sort that made him 
popular. Vivian Blaine's singing of sentimental songs 
is very effective. Top acting honors, however, go to 
little Peggy Ann Garner, as the little Irish immi- 
grant befriended by Raft, who repays his kindness by 
patching up his broken romance with Vivian : — 

Arriving from Ireland to visit her uncle, whose last 
known address was Raft's saloon, Peggy learns that 
the man had died. Raft, feeling sorry for the child, 
asks her to remain with him. Through Peggy, Raft 
becomes acquainted with Joan Bennett, a beautiful 
socialite, who had befriended Peggy on the boat trip 
from Ireland. Joan, fascinated by Raft's suave man- 
ner, visits his cafe. Both fall in love. Vivian Blaine, 
Raft's star entertainer, madly in love with him herself, 
becomes jealous of Joan and warns him that her only 
interest was to gain his political support to help elect 
her brother as district attorney. They quarrel, and 
Vivian leaves him to sing in a rival cafe. Despite the 
pleas of his friends, Raft insists upon backing Joan's 
brother and wins the election for him. He soon be- 
comes disillusioned when the new district attorney 
cools toward him, and when Joan informs him that 
her love had been a passing fancy. Shunned and in- 
sulted by those who had warned him, Raft shuts 
down his cafe and takes to drink. He broods over his 
failure to listen to Vivian and to recognize her love. 
Peggy, blaming herself for introducing Raft to Jean, 
and feeling responsible for his troubles, tries vainly 
to bring Vivian and Raft together. Desperate, she 
appeals to Joan for help. Joan visits Vivian and, after 
a hair-pulling match between them, threatens to win 
Raft back for herself unless she returned to him. 
Vivian, brought to her senses, rounds up Raft's friends 
and employees, opens his cafe, and reunites with him. 

Wanda Tuchok and Norman Reilly Baine wrote 
the screen play, Andre Daven produced it, and Henry 
Hathaway directed it. The cast includes Alan Reed, 
B. S. Pully and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



88 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



June 2, 1945 



Loews. Harrison's Reports knows for a fact that 
both the WAC and Loew's exerted every effort to 
have the subject withdrawn when it became apparent 
that the press and the exhibitors favored such action. 
The refusal of the War Department to recognize 
these protests sooner than it did is certainly no reflec- 
tion on either the WAC or Loew's. 

According to Wood, Loew's should have refused 
to distribute the subject regardless of the War De- 
partment's wishes in the matter. Harrison's Reports 
believes that Loew's acted properly; a soldier may 
question the wisdom of his commanding officer's 
orders, but he carries out those orders. The same holds 
true of Loew's. When it realized that its arguments 
against the picture had little effect on the War De- 
partment, then like a good soldier, and despite its own 
feelings in the matter, it carried out, to the best of 
its ability, the wishes of General Marshall. 

In fairness to Loew's, it should be pointed out that, 
on very short notice, it did a remarkable job of dis- 
tributing "Two Down and One to Go," obtaining 
more than 800 first-run bookings during the first week 
of the subject's availability — and with only 400 prints. 
This entailed a vast amount of work at considerable 
expense to the company. 

It is indeed unfortunate that the War Department 
stubbornly delayed the withdrawal of the picture, 
which should not have been released in the first place. 
But let us not condemn either Loew's or the WAC 
as having had a hand in this stubborness. It was far 
better, and certainly more meaningful, for the ex- 
hibitors themselves to take action and refuse to book 
the picture than for Loew's to have taken it upon 
itself to act for the exhibitors by refusing to distribute 
the picture. Such action would have left it open to 
criticism, not only from the War Department, but 
also from many exhibitors who may have had a desire 
to show the picture. 



A MONOPOLIST'S DREAM OF HEAVEN 

At a recent trade press luncheon tendered by Lester 
Cowan, producer of Ernie Pyle's "Story of G.I. Joe," 
Cowan stated that he was not in faVor of theatre di- 
vorcement because it would take away from the in- 
dependent producer the one thing he can rely on — 
playing time. Cowan revealed that he was interested 
in a plan calling for a proposed circuit of theatres, of 
approximately twelve hundred seats each, catering 
to a particular type of audience, and for which he 
would like to produce exclusively pictures that could 
be held in them indefinitely. He said that he would be 
interested in investing money in such a circuit if it 
could be developed, but he added that the Govern- 
ment's stand against producer-owned theatres would 
prevent him from doing so. 

Cowan's remarks, which were publicized in the 
trade press, have drawn the fire of National Allied, 
which had this to say, in part, in a recent bulletin : 

"When a producer airs his views in print it usually 
is ballyhoo for some forthcoming picture. Almost in- 
variably he says something that will please the little 
band that controls the juicy first-run accounts. Hence, 
when Lester Cowan recently made the headlines with 
an attack on theatre divorcement, we were certain 
that he was about to release a picture. And sure 
enough, we found that he made his remarks at a trade 
press luncheon given by himself and George Schaefer 



§ 

for a 'discussion of sales plans for 'The Story of G.I. 

Joe.' 

"But let us credit Cowan with a new angle. He is 
not content with the arguments usually advanced by 
producers who dearly love a ready-made market for 
their products — good, bad and run-of-the-mine. He 
does not like the idea of theatre divorcement because 
it would stand in the way of his ambition to have his 
own nation-wide circuit of first-run theatres. . . . 

"The small number of independent exhibitors who 
have been lured by producer propaganda into de- 
claring against theatre divorcement should study 
Cowan's ideas with the greatest care. We are certain 
the new Attorney General will find them interesting. 
For here is a monopolist's dream of heaven : A ready- 
made market, no more competition, no more selling 
expense or trouble, exclusive selling, high admissions, 
extended runs, drawing all patronage into the circuit 
theatres. How do you like that, Mr. Independent Ex- 
hibitor? 

"Apparently Cowan has heard little and cares less 
about the mounting popular prejudice against trusts 
and cartels, or the avowed policy of the Government 
to encourage and protect 'little business.' 

"If as a result of his ingratiating declaration against 
theatre divorcement Cowan gets 'The Story of G.I. 
Joe' set on favorable terms in the affiliated first-run 
theatres, he may experiment with his idea on that 
picture. According to Mr. Schaefer, the picture will 
be sold only on percentage and double-billing will not 
be permitted. Extended runs will undoubtedly be 
demanded an an effort made to bleed the picture in 
the high-admission theatres. If the picture is as suc- 
cessful as its sponsors predict it will be, maybe Cowan 
will be satisfied with this first-run revenue and will 
not seek to sell the picture to the subsequent-run, 
neighborhood and small-town theatres. 

"That ought to satisfy everyone except the thou- 
sands of indepedent exhibitors who have supported 
Cowan's past efforts and feel that they have some 
claim to his consideration, and the millions of theatre 
patrons — mothers, fathers, wives, sweethearts, broth- 
ers and sisters of G.I. Joe — who for a variety of 
reasons cannot attend the key city first-run theatres. 
If Cowan really wants to swim in hot water — and it 
would seem that he does — here is his chance!" 

I don't know if Cowan, in declaring himself against 
theatre divorcement, was trying to woo the good will 
of the affiliated circuits, but I do know that he could 
not have chosen more appropriate remarks to alienate 
whatever good wiil he may have had with the inde- 
pendent exhibitors. Cowan apparently seems to forget 
that the independent exhibitors have been suffering 
from the ravages of big business for so long a time 
that they can hardly be expected to feel kindly to- 
wards anyone who advocates the continuance of 
monopolistic practices. While Cowan may have 
soothed the feelings of the "big fellows" in this busi- 
ness, I fear that he has done himself a great harm with 
the "little fellows." And as an independent producer, 
he can ill afford to antagonize the independent exhi- 
bitors, for it is through them that he may, in many 
instances, be able to counteract the "squeeze" by 
which some of the affiliated circuits often deprive an 
independent producer like himself of the playing 
time and the rental terms that his picture is entitled 
to receive. 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 

Harrison's Reports 

Yearly Subscription Rates: 1270 SIXTH AVENUE Published Weekly by 

United States ?15.00 RnnmlRI? Harrison's Reports, Inc., 

U. S. Insular Possessions. 16.50 Koom lou Publisher 

Canada 16.50 New York 20, N. Y. P. S. HARRISON, Editor 

Mexico, Cuba, Spain 16.50 . .. _. . _ . . 

rre»t Britain IS 75 A Motion Picture Reviewing Service 

Australia New 'Zealand,' Devoted Chiefly to the Interests of the Exhibitors Established July 1, 1919 

India, Europe, Asia ... . 17.50 ,. ., _ ,. _ _,. . ,. ■ . , 

ir. r v ts Edl torial Policy: No Problem Too Big for Its Editorial Circle 7-4622 

6t>c a copy Columns, if It is to Benefit the Exhibitor. 

A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 

Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, JUNE 9, 1945 No. 23 



A Three-Page Shot in the Arm 

From all parts of the country exhibitors have been for- twenty top-bracket pictures and twenty-four "B's." Before 

warding to this office copies of a telegram sent to them by we proceed further, let me give you a list of the pictures 

Abe Montague, general sales manager of Columbia Pic- Columbia has thus far allocated to the top-twenty brackets, 

tures. It seems that Montague, while visiting the Columbia They are as follows: 

studios in Hollywood, became so elated about his company's 6001 Not set 

forthcoming productions that he felt the exhibitors should 6Q02 £^ ^ Night'. V. F e °b. 22 

share his enthusiasm, and he forthwith dispatched a three- 60Q3 Together Again Dec. 22 

page telegram to them, outlining his observations and in- 6004 Not set 

forming the exhibitors of what the future held for them inso- 6005 ' ' Not set 
far as his company's pictures were concerned. This is what 60Q6 Counter- Attack ' .' .' .' .' .' .' .' .' .' ." .' .' .' .' .Apr. 26 
he had to say, in part: 60Q7 Not set 

"Since arriving here few days ago have acquired con- 6008 Not set 

siderable information I feel you should like to know about. 6009 Not set 

They tell me there is nothing of more interest to any theatre 6010 The Fighting Guardsman May 24 

operator than really good pictures, and we now have finished 6011 Not set 

or in the process of shooting at our studio the greatest group 6012 Not set 

of pictures since we've been a producing and distributing 6013 Not set 

organization. For the 1944-45 season, and I am referring 6014 Eadie Was a Lady Jan. 23 

only to top bracket pictures, we have 'A Thousand and 6015 Not set 

One Nights' in Technicolor . . . 'Over 21* . . . Rosalind 6016 Strange Affair Oct. 5 

Russell ... in what we know will be an outstanding comedy 6017 Crime Doctor's Courage Feb. 27 

entitled 'She Had to Say Yes.' These three 1944-45 pic- 6018 Rough, Tough and Ready Mar. 22 

tures will be released one a month starting in July. Also 6019 Leave it to Blondie Feb. 22 

completed is 'Kiss and Tell' taken from the terrific stage 6020 Not set 

comedy still rocking the nation with laughter Cast includes Lack of gnts ug frQm ^ the » B „ 

Shirley Temple . Everyone who has seen this outstanding sgt {qj . rdease and allocated t0 the lower bracketSj but the 

film property, which will be sold separately and apart from , u . u . . u c . . c ,u j 

, r i ■ • i - -ii i record shows that, thus far, nineteen out ot the promised 

the 1945-46 program, is or the opinion that it will stand . t • r u u j r j 

r, iiTf-i twenty-four have been delivered, 

out as one or the greatest comedies ever produced. It 1 am . ,. , 

wrong about this picture I will buy you and your friends a , The foregoing list shows that nine pictures have so far 

wine dinner at any place you name. . . ." be , e , n allocated to the top twenty brackets. To these may be 

added three more — Over 21, A Thousand and One 

Elsewhere in his telegram Montague tells the exhibitors Nights," and "She Had to Say Yes" (formerly titled "Some 

that shooting has been completed on "The Bandit of Sher- Call it Love"), which Montague identifies in his telegram 

wood Forest," a Technicolor production starring Cornel as top bracket pictures for the 1944-45 season. This would 

Wilde, and in the process of shooting are "Pardon My Past," ma k e a total of twelve. And of that number, not all are top 

with Fred MacMurray, and "The Renegades," a western productions; it is obvious that at least half of them, namely 

drama in Technicolor. These three pictures, says Montague, "The Fighting Guardsman," "Eadie Was a Lady," "Strange 

"are the lead-off pictures of our 1945-46 program." Affair," "Crime Doctor's Courage," "Rough, Tough and 

It would seem that Montague, through the aforemen- Ready," and "Leave it to Blondie" are strictly low-budgeted 

tioned telegram, believed that it would be good psychology program pictures, which would be much more at home in 

to bring the 1944-45 season to a close by delivering a top- the "B" brackets than in the higher film-rental brackets, 

bracket picture in each o'f the last three months, in order Nevertheless, since Columbia, through its "elastic thinking" 

that the exhibitors be put in a good frame of mind just prior policy, has seen fit to allocate these "B's" to the top-twenty 

to the start of his company's selling campaign on the 1945- brackets, in order to make up the total of twelve, there re- 

46 program. What he did not realize, however, was that the main eight top pictures still to come. But were will they come 

telegram would insult the intelligence of every thoughtful from? 

exhibitor in this country, for the very words that comprise Abe Montague admits in his telegram that, for the re- 

the telegram constitute an admission that Columbia will once mainder of the 1944-45 season, and he specifically states that 

again renege on its promises to its customers. The facts speak he is referring only to top bracket pictures, Columbia will 

for themselves, and here they arc : deliver no more than three, which we have already included 

At the time Columbia announced its 1944-45 program, it in the total of twelve. The only other pictures tentatively 

promised a total of forty-four features, exclusive of westerns, set for release this season are "Boston Blackie's Rendezvous," 

and stated that "at least twenty top-flight films — the greatest "You Can't Do Without Love," "The Gay Senorita," and 

number ever offered in a single year by Columbia — will be "I Love a Bandleader." All are of "B" quality, produced 

produced, with a corresponding reduction in the number of on modest budgets. And in production, other than the pic- 
B pictures." In other words, the program was to consist of (Continued on last page) 



90 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



June 9, 1945 



"Out of this World" with Eddie Bracken, 
Veronica Lake and Diana Lynn 

(Paramount, no release date set; time, 96 mm.) 

This comedy with music, which is a travesty on "croon' 
ers," should go over pretty well with the masses, chiefly be- 
cause of one running gag — every time Eddie Bracken sings, 
you hear Bing Crosby's voice, which has been dubbed in to 
fit Bracken's lip movements. Despite a few sluggish passages, 
the story itself is an amusing satire, in many ways parallel- 
ing Frank Sinatra's early career, and in other ways poking 
considerable fun at the "bobby-sox" youngsters who swoon 
whenever they hear their favorite "crooner" sing. It manages 
to keep one chuckling- all the way through. The music is 
not outstanding but it is tuneful, and there are several 
production numbers and a few specialties. Outstanding 
among these are two novelty songs sung by the bombastic 
Cass Daly, and a piano playing number featuring five of 
the country's most popular pianists — Carmen Cavallaro, 
Ted Fiorita, Ray Noble, Henry King, and Joe Reichman. 
One amusing sequence shows Bing Crosby*6 four youngsters 
making wry faces and voicing quips when Bracken sings and 
they hear their father's voice: — 

Diana Lynn and her all-girl band, struggling for recogni- 
tion, are playing at a benefit for an orphans' home when 
Eddie Bracken, a telegraph messenger, is asked to sing. 
His "crooning" so affects Veronica Lake, secretary to an 
important New York business executive, that she swoons. 
The incident is photographed, and the resultant publicity 
brings fame to Bracken and the band, and an offer to appear 
on a radio show in New York. Diana signs Bracken to a 
contract at fifty dollars a week, but, needing funds to 
finance their trip to New York, she sells shares in the con- 
tract, with 25% going to Veronica. Diana discovers too late 
that she had inadvertently sold 125% of Bracken's contract, 
and her efforts to buy back some shares are unavailing. Mean- 
while Bracken's popularity as a "crooner" soars, and he 
demands a raise in salary. Diana finally makes a clean 
breast of her predicament to Bracken and to the stockholders, 
who threaten to send her to jail. Bracken, angry, refuses to 
sing, and his radio sponsor threatens to sue the stockholders. 
Shrewdly taking advantage of the confusion, Veronica buys 
out the other stockholders. Diana, ignoring her own troubles, 
sets out on a campaign to free Bracken from Veronica. She 
sees to it that Bracken catches cold and loses his voice and, 
after a series of incidents in which Veronica sells the contract 
to the sponsor, Diana proves that it was invalid because she 
had been a minor when she made the deal with Bracken. 

Walter DeLeon and Arthur Phillips wrote the screen 
play, Sam Coslow produced it, and Hal Walker directed it. 
The cast includes Parkyakarkus, Donald MacBride and 
others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"Steppin' in Society" with Edward Everett 
Horton and Gladys George 

(Republic, July 29; time, 72 mm.) 

A rather dull program comedy. The story idea, that of a 
judge consorting with a gang of criminals and pretenting 
to be one himself in an effort to reform them, is not bad, 
but it has not been given a good treatment. Most of the 
comedy situations fall flat. It has some laugh-provoking 
situations, but these are so few and far between that the 
spectator loses interest in the proceedings and becomes rest- 
less. The players do as well as they can with the material, 
but they cannot overcome its deficiencies: — 

Edward Everett Horton, an austere, uncompromising 
judge, who, in the performance of his court duties never 
tempered justice with understanding and sympathy, de- 
cides to go on a vacation with his wife, Gladys George. 
When their car breaks down on the open road, Horton and 
his wife are obliged, because of an approaching storm, to 
take shelter in a roadhouse operated by a gang of shady 
characters. The gang plans to rob the couple, but later, 



when they rifle Horton's brief case and find a batch of papers 
concerning a bank robbery, they misconstrue their meaning 
and mistake him for a 6uave, big-time racketeer; the gang 
asks him to assume their leadership. Seeing an opportunity 
to reform them, Horton does not correct their mistaken 
impression of his identity, and agrees to the proposal. From 
there on, Horton has his hands full keeping the gang on the 
straight and narrow path while allowing them to believe 
that he was helping them with their crooked schemes. He 
even permits them to rob his own home to keep them happy. 
The gang eventually learns of his identity and of his repu- 
tation as a severe judge; they decide to give him a dose of 
his own medicine by subjecting him to a trial. Testifying in 
his own defense, Horton convinces the gang that he had 
done them much good by keeping them out of trouble, and 
that they in turn had helped him to attain a more human 
and sympathetic understanding toward people brought be- 
fore him for trial. Accepted by the gang as a friend, Horton 
loans them funds to convert their roadhouse into a gala 
night-club, thus helping them to earn a living within the 
law. 

Bradford Ropes wrote the screen play, Joseph Bercholz 
produced it, and Alexander Esway directed it. The cast 
includes Ruth Terry, Robert Livingston, Jack LaRue. Lola 
Lane, Isabel Jewell, Frank Jenks, Iris Adrian, Paul Hurst 
and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"Within these Walls" with Thomas Mitchell 

(20th Century-Fox, July, time, 71 min.) 

A fair program prison melodrama; it should satisfy those 
who enjoy this type of entertainment. The story is another 
version of the crimc-docs-not-pay theme, revolving around 
a penitentiary warden, who institutes strict rules to restore 
discipline among the prisoners only to find himself morally 
compelled to enforce those rules when his own son becomes 
one of the inmates. One's interest is maintained fairly well, 
there is human interest to appeal to the emotions, and there 
is considerable suspense in a few of the situations, particu- 
larly those in which the warden shoots it out with a group 
of convicts attempting a jail break, after they had cold- 
bloodedly murdered his son. A romance between the war- 
den's daughter and a model convict is worked into the plot: 

Thomas Mitchell, a stern, criminal jurist, is asked to take 
charge of the state penitentiary to rid the institution of 
convict riots and wholesale corruption. Arriving at the 
prison with Mary Anderson, his daughter, and Eddie Ryan, 
his seventeen-year-old son, Mitchell is greeted by the prison- 
ers with boos. He takes charge with a vengeance, dismissing 
corrupt guards, depriving the unruly inmates of special 
privileges unless earned, and punishing disobedient men 
by placing them in solitary confinement. Meanwhile his son, 
a wayward youngster, who had gotten himself into debt, 
accepts bribes from the convicts in return for special favors. 
Learning that the boy was instrumental in arranging an at- 
tempted prison break, Mitchell berates him and sends him 
away to college. But the boy's association with the convicts 
had left its mark on him, and he soon leaves college to lead 
a life of crime. Months later, he shows up in the prison line- 
up, sentenced to serve a ten-year term for robbery. Mitchell, 
though heartbroken, determines that the boy shall be shown 
no special privileges, even going so far as to place him in 
solitary confinement when he becomes unruly. A group of 
convicts, learning that Ryan was the warden's son, involve 
him in an attempted jail break, during which the boy, in an 
effort to save his father, sacrifices his own life. Embittered, 
Mitchell avenges the boy's death by single-handedly wiping 
out the offenders. Mellowed by the loss of his son, Mitchell 
comes to the realization that discipline must be tempered 
with kindness to mould effectively the characters of young 
men. 

Eugene Ling and Wanda Tuchock wrote the screen play, 
Ben Silver produced it, and Bruce Humberstone directed it. 
The cast includes Mark Stevens, B. S. Pully and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



June 9, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



91 



"The Great John L" with Greg McClure, 
Linda Darnell and Barbara Britton 

(United Artists, no release date set; time, 96 min.) 

This dramatization of the life of John L. Sullivan, which 
is Bing Crosby's first independent production, is a fine 
human-interest drama, the sort that should go over very 
well with the rank and file. It has all the ingredients needed 
for mass appeal — heart-tugging situations, romance, good 
comedy, realistic and exciting prizefights, and pleasant music 
with a nostalgic flavor. Moreover, it has expert direction and 
fine performances by the cast. Greg McClure, as Sullivan, is 
a promising newcomer; his portrayal of the Boston "Strong 
Boy" is extraordinarily convincing and sympathy-winning, 
even though his actions are not always pleasant. 

The well-written story takes in Sullivan's early days as 
an unknown fighter, his rise to the world's championship, 
his defeat by James J. Corbett, his decline as the result of 
drink, and his eventual reformation in which he becomes an 
exponent of clean living. All this serves as a colorful back- 
ground for the main story line, which concerns itself with 
the two women in Sullivan's life — Kathy (Barbara Britton), 
his childhood sweetheart, who refused to marry him, al- 
though she loved him, because of his boastful attitude and 
of his addiction to drink, and Anne (Linda Darnell), an 
actress, who loved him dearly, but whom he married in a fit 
of temper when his sweetheart, despite his becoming cham- 
pion, still refused to become his wife. Sullivan's recognition 
of Anne's love and loyalty, and his inability to forget his 
love for Kathy, result in his taking to drink and his eventual 
downfall. Both women win the spectator's sympathy, because 
of their display of fine character and of their willingness to 
help the man they love, despite his human failings. A tragic 
note is injected by Anne's death, which paves the way for 
Sullivan and Kathy to reunite. 

Worthy of mention is an outstanding comedy sequence 
in which Sullivan, visiting Paris, is challenged to a fight by 
a Frenchman half his size, a la sarotte (feet-fighting) cham- 
pion. The manner in which he befuddles Sullivan and gives 
him a thorough licking is highly hilarious. The production 
values are very good; it is apparent that painstaking care was 
taken to give the gaslight era depicted an authentic air. As a 
matter of fact, everything about the entire production shows 
painstaking care. 

James Edward Grant wrote the screen play and co- 
produced it with Frank R. Mastroly. Frank Tuttle directed 
it. The cast includes Otto Kruger, Wallace Ford, George 
Matthews, Robert Barrat, Lee Sullivan, Fritz Feld and 
others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Divorce" with Kay Francis, 
Bruce Cabot and Helen Mack 

(Monogram, June I; time, 72 min.) 

Good program entertainment, suitable for the top half 
of a double bill in secondary houses. The story, which re- 
volves around the efforts of a wealthy, sophisticated divorcee 
to break up the marriage of her childhood sweetheart, is 
not particularly novel and the outcome is quite obvious; 
however, one's attention is held because it directs some 
human appeal and it has good performances. It has some 
unpleasantness caused by the conduct of Bruce Cabot, as 
the erring husband, who leaves his happy home, wife, and 
two children for Kay Francis, who uses her wealth to hold 
his love; one is not in sympathy with Cabot for deserting 
his family, even though he eventually returns to it, giving 
up Kay. The most sympathetic character is Helen Mack, as 
the wife, who sacrifices her happiness for her children: — 

After divorcing her fourth husband, Kay Francis re- 
turns to Hillsboro, her home town, to renew old friendships. 
There, she attends the wedding anniversary celebration of 
Helen Mack and Bruce Cabot, her childhood sweetheart. 
Her love for Cabot rekindled, Kay sets out on a campaign 
to steal him from Helen and their two children. She en- 



trenches herself with Cabot by forming a large real estate 
syndicate and by making him her partner, causing him to 
become one of the most important men in town. Helen 
eventually realizes that Kay was trying to break up her 
home, and she compels Cabot to choose between them. He 
chooses Kay. Despite the efforts of friends to avert a di- 
vorce, Helen is granted an interlocutory decree. Cabot 
embarks on a gay time with Kay, neglecting to visit his 
children, who looked forward to seeing him. Helen refuses 
to accept his alimony checks, and humiliates him by working 
as a clerk in a department store to support herself and the 
children. Realizing that Cabot had become remorseful, and 
that his love for her was beginning to wane, Kay tries to 
induce him to leave town with her in the hope that he would 
forget his family. But his attachment for Helen and the 
children proves too strong, and he returns home to beg their 
forgiveness.. Kay, defeated, leaves Hillsboro alone. 

Sidney Sutherland and Harvey E. Gates wrote the screen 
play, Jeffrey Bernard and Kay Francis produced it, and 
William Nigh directed it. The cast includes Craig Reynolds, 
Larry Olsen, Johnny Calkins, Jerome Cowan, Ruth Lee, 
Mary Gordon and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Don Juan Quilligan" with William Bendix, 
Joan Blondell and Phil Silvers 

(20th Century-Fox, ]une; time, 75 min.) 

Not an extraordinary comedy, but it offers fairly good 
program entertainment for audiences that are not too criti- 
cal. The story is a preposterous affair, revolving around a 
dim-witted barge captain, who gets himself so involved with 
two girls, each of whom possessed a virtue that reminded 
him of his departed mother, that he finds himself married 
to both of them. The manner in which he tries to get out of 
this predicament only to find himself in deeper trouble is 
such a hodge-podge of nonsense that it leaves one more 
confused than entertained. It does have some amusing twists, 
and a few of the situations should draw peals of laughter, 
but.on the whole it has too many dull stretches. Its box-office 
chances will have to depend on the players' drawing power: 

William Bendix, a barge captain, falls in love with Joan 
Blondell, a New York girl, because her voice reminded him 
of his mother, and with Mary Treen, a Utica girl, because 
her cooking was like his mother's. He gets himself engaged 
to both girls, who were unaware of each other's existence, 
but delays marrying either of them. Matters become compli- 
cated when a neighbor of Mary's, visiting a New York night- 
club, sees Bendix with Joan and accuses him of being a 
"two-timer." Phil Silvers, Bendix's pal, comes to the rescue 
by concocting a story about Bendix having a twin brother. 
Both girls accept the story as true. Bendix, however, soon 
finds himself in a jam when each of the girls, using trickery, 
marries him. While worrying over his predicament, Bendix 
finds a dead man on his barge, deposited there by a gang 
of thieves. Silvers, hitting upon a bright idea, suggests that 
they dress the body in one of Bendix's suits, drop it over- 
board, and write a suicide note to make it appear as if 
Bendix's "twin brother" had killed himself, leaving Mary 
a widow. The scheme backfires, however, when the body is 
found and when Mary accuses Bendix of murdering her 
"husband." Arrested and brought to trial, Bendix, after 
much difficulty, convinces the court that he did not have a 
twin brother. The judge dismisses the case, but holds him 
on a bigamy charge. But when he learns that Bendix had 
been tricked into the marriages, he dismisses the charge and 
advises the girls to seek an annulment before Bendix entered 
the Army, which had drafted him. Both women, however, 
promise to wait for him, and the picture ends with Bendix 
still in the same predicament. 

Arthur Kobcr and Frank Gabriclson wrote the screen play, 
William LcBaron produced it, and Frank Tuttle directed it. 
The cast includes Anne Revere, B. S. Pully, Veda Ann Borg 
and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



92 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



June 9, 1945 



tures mentioned in Montague's telegram as belonging to 
the 1945-46 season, is "Rusty," which, too, is a "B" picture. 
Since Columbia, because of its "elastic thinking" policy, 
will not tell the exhibitors in advance to which brackets 
these five program pictures will be allocated, let us try to 
figure it out for ourselves. 

Briefly, the situation is this: Twelve pictures may be con- 
sidcrcd as allocated to the top twenty brackets, leaving a 
total of eight top bracket pictures still due to exhibitors. 
Nineteen "B" pictures have been allocated to the lower 
brackets, leaving a total of five still due out of a promised 
twenty-four. If Columbia should allocate to the top-twenty 
brackets the five "B" pictures that have not yet been set for 
release, the exhibitors' revenue will not be commensurate 
with the rentals paid; in fact, the possibility is that the pic- 
tures may be exhibited at a loss. On the other hand, if these 
five pictures should be placed in the lower brackets, where 
they belong, the exhibitor will find himself in the position 
of the shopkeeper who agreed to accept a quantity of hard- 
to-sell, inferior quality merchandise for the privilege of buy- 
ing a definite quantity of saleable, high quality merchan- 
dise, only to end up with all the inferior goods but with only 
a small part of the quality merchandise. In other words, no 
matter which way Columbia allocates the remaining five 
pictures, the exhibitor gets the tail end. 

But Montague is not satisfied with the mere non-delivery 
of a promised program. He adds insult to injury by boast- 
fully informing the exhibitors that "Kiss and Tell," which, 
according to his statement, has been acclaimed as a great 
comedy, will be sold separate and apart from the 1945-46 
program. But he has forgotten to tell you that "Kiss and 
Tell" was one of the properties from which the 1944-45 
program was to be selected, nor has he told you that the 
picture has been "in the can" for over two months. Why 
was it taken away from the 1944-45 contract holders? 

This action does not come as a surprise to Harrison's 
Reports; if you will read again the editorial on Columbia's 
record, which appeared in the March 31 issue of this paper, 
you will find the following remarks: 

". . . 'Kiss and Tell' is the only top-bracket picture now 
in production, but since Columbia has made no announce- 
ment that it will release it this season, Harrison's Reports 
ventures to say that, on the basis of Columbia's past per- 
formances, it will probably be withheld from the 1944-45 
contract-holders, and offered for delivery in the 1945-46 
season. And if 'Kiss and Tell' should turn out to be an out' 
standing production, there is a possibility that Columbia will 
give it the 'Song to Remember' treatment; that is, sell the 
picture separate and apart from any program, taking it away 
from such exhibitors as are entitled to it." 

Guided by Columbia's consistent policy, Harrison's 
Reports ventures to say now that the same treatment — the 
"Song to Remember" and "Kiss and Tell" treatment — will 
probably be accorded to "Jacobowsky and the Colonel," 
which is another one of the important properties from 
which Columbia was supposed to select its 1944-45 program, 
and which it used to entice the current season's contract- 
holders, and which it will undoubtedly use again to entice 
prospective 1945-46 customers when it announces the forth- 
coming season's product. 

The Columbia salesman may try to explain away his 
company's failure to deliver promised pictures by blaming 
it on the raw stock shortage. If he does, you can refute his 
argument by pointing, not only to "Kiss and Tell," but also 
to "The Bandit of Sherwood Forest," which, by Montague's 
own admissi'on, is completed but is being held for the 1945- 
46 program. You can also point out that "She Had to Say 
Yes," a picture still in production, will be delivered during 
1944-45. Surely, if raw stick could be found for the prints 
of this picture, it certainly could be found for the prints of 
the other two. Moreover, the company could have used the 
raw stock that went into the making of prints on "B" pic- 



tures for the making of prints on top pictures, which is the 
type of product its customers were primarily interested in. 

I can go on filling column after column with more facts 
about Columbia's injustices to the exhibitors, but space does 
not permit. Besides, most of you who have been reading this 
paper are fully aware of these injustices, for I have been 
calling them to your attention each time that they occurred. 
And I shall continue to call them to your attention until 
such a time as Columbia makes up its mind to deal fairly and 
squarely with its customers. 

As it has already been said, the facts speak for themselves. 
The thoughtful exhibitor will study these facts and weigh 
them carefully. He will not be blinded by Columbia's usual 
tactics of starting and ending a season in a blaze of glory 
in the hope that the exhibitor may forget the injustices that 
he suffered during the intervening months. 

There is one ray of hope in Montague's telegram; there is 
hope that Columbia may change its tactics. There is hope 
that, in the future, when an exhibitor signs a Columbia 
contract, he will get, not only the "B's" but also the "good 
pictures." Why? Because Montague, who is celebrating his 
twentieth anniversary as Columbia's general sales manager, 
confesses in his telegram that he has just learned about the 
exhibitor's point of view. He says: "They tell me there is 
nothing of more interest to any theatre operator than really 
good pictures. . . ." 

Perhaps a bit late, Abe, but now that you know it, let's 
see what you will do about it. 

"West of the Pecos" with Robert Mitchum 
and Barbara Hale 

(RKO, no release date set; time, 66 min.) 
Where western melodramas are liked, this should go over 
fairly well as a supporting feature. It has interesting outdoor 
shots, fast action, exciting gunplay, and good horseback 
riding. The story, based on the Zane Grey novel, was pro- 
duced once before by RKO in 1934 with Richard Dix, and 
this version remains substantially the same. It is not greatly 
different from the usual story used in westerns, but it has 
considerable suspense, because of the constant danger to the 
hero, and good comedy touches as the result of the heroine's 
masquerading as a young boy. The romantic interest is 
pleasant: — 

Ordered by his doctor to take a rest from business, Thurs- 
ton Hall, accompanied by Barbara Hale, his daughter, and 
by Rita Corday, her French maid, leaves Chicago and heads 
for his ranch in Texas. En route, their stage coach is held 
up by bandits, who shoot the driver. The wounded man is 
found by his friends, Robert Mitchum and Richard Martin, 
who learn the name of the killer just before he dies. Mean- 
while Barbara, arriving in a town nearby the ranch, en- 
counters rough people and, to protect herself, she decides 
to dress and pose as a young boy. She is present when 
Mitchum rides into town, seeks out the murderer, and kills 
him. Harry Woods, leader of the gang, which posed as vigi- 
lantes, determines to even matters with Mitchum by blam- 
ing him for the murder of the coach driver. Later, when 
Barbara and her party get lost in the desert on their way to 
the ranch, Mitchum and Richards come to their rescue, and 
both accept her father's offer of employment. Mitchum, 
believing Barbara to be a boy, treats her in brotherly fash- 
ion; she falls in love with him. Still playing her masculine 
role, Barbara endures several embarrasmg situations until 
Mitchum accidentally discovers her identity. He falls in 
love with her and, after many complications during which 
the bandits try to kill him, he finally proves his innocence to 
the authorities, rounds up the gang, and wins Barbara for 
his bride. 

Norman Houston wrote the screen play, Herman Schlom 
produced it, and Edward Killy directed it. 
Unobjectionable morally. 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 

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Vol. XXVII 



SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 1945 



No. 24 



HEALTHY COMPETITION FROM 

ACROSS THE SEA 

Since his arrival in this country two weeks ago, 
Mr. J. Arthur Rank, head of many major British film 
interests and president of the British Film Producers 
Association, has made some very significant remarks 
regarding his plans and his hopes to secure maximum 
playing time from the American exhibitors for his 
British-made productions. 

Unlike some British film industryites who have re- 
peatedly charged that American distribution and ex- 
hibtion interests are scheming to keep British pictures 
off the American screens, Mr. Rank, without whining 
and without charging that the American film industry 
was seeking to stifle British competition, has stated 
that he has no complaints to make about the reception 
accorded his pictures by the exhibitors in this country. 
He admitted that many American exhibitors have 
shunned British pictures because too few of them have 
been suitable in entertainment value for American 
audiences. For this condition, the fault lies not with 
the American exhibitors, but with the British pro- 
ducers. Mr. Rank hopes to remedy the condition and 
to eliminate all resistance against British product by 
delivering pictures that will suit American tastes. 

He admitted frankly that the British producers 
have a good deal to learn about the tastes of American 
picture-goers, and he added that British pictures have 
not been popular in the United States because "we 
have not studied the situation enough." 

At a luncheon tendered to him by the Independent 
Theatre Owners Association of New York, Mr. Rank 
was told that the American exhibitors were eager to 
give British pictures considerable playing time, pro- 
vided the pictures are of sufficient high calibre to be 
worthy of it. Without hesitation he replied that the 
quality of British films has already improved so much 
that, in England, many of them are out-grossing 
American pictures, and that, before long, British 
pictures may out-gross the Hollywood product even 
in the United States. He went on to explain that this 
development should serve the interests of the exhibi- 
tors, for it will undoubtedly create friendly compe- 
tition between the British and American producers, 
who will vie with each other constantly in an effort to 
produce better pictures. 

The policy Mr. Rank proposes to follow in order 
to secure more playing time from the American ex- 



hibitors is indeed gratifying to Harrison's Reports, 
because for many years this paper has assured the 
British proudcers that the American exhibitors har- 
bored no national prejudices and that they were more 
than willing to exhibit British pictures so long as their 
entertaining qualities and star values were such as 
would attract American picture-goers. 

Mr. Rank has the right idea. He realizes that the 
product he manufactures for sale must conform as 
nearly as possible to the tastes and desires of his cus- 
tomers. If he wants American exhibitors as customers, 
he must supply them with product that will please and 
satisfy their patrons. It will not do for him to design 
that product merely to please his own fancies. 

The exhibitor, being in close contact with his pa- 
trons, knows what they want, and if Mr. Rank and 
the other British producers will satisfy the wants of 
the exhibitors, they will satisfy the ultimate purchas- 
ers — the public. 

Harrison's Reports believes that Mr. Rank has 
made a fine start toward securing more playing time 
for his pictures in this country, and it urges the inde- 
pendent exhibitors to support him whenever he de- 
livers a picture worthy of exhibition in their theatres. 
It is through such support that Mr. Rank's producing 
organizations can become definite competitive threats 
to the American producers. And once the American 
producers find their supremacy challenged, you may 
be sure that the independent exhibitors can look for- 
ward to a competitive market that will give them, not 
only better selectivity of pictures, but also a better 
bargaining position. 

This paper wishes to make one further suggestion 
to Mr. Rank, namely, that, in addition to studying the 
likes and dislikes of the American picture-goers, he 
study also the unfair tactics that the American pro- 
ducer-distributors have been and still are practicing 
on the exhibitors of this country, tactics that have re- 
sulted in constant strife between buyer and seller. A 
thorough study of these tactics should enable Mr. 
Rank to formulate a sales policy that will be free of 
unfair and oppressive practices, to the ultimate benefit 
of both the exhibitors and himself. 

The American exhibitors are ripe for a square deal, 
and Mr. Rank can gain their undivided support by 
giving them just that. 

Harrison's Reports welcomes the competition 
Mr. Rank proposes to bring to the American film in- 
dustry, and wishes him every success. 



94 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



June 16, 1945 



"Incendiary Blonde" with Betty Hutton, 
Arturo de Cordova and Barry Fitzgerald 

(Paramount, no release date set; time, 113 mm.) 

Very good mass entertainment. It is a musical melodrama, 
in Technicolor, based on the life of Texas Guinan, colorful 
night-club queen of the prohibition era. Combining music, 
comedy, dancing, romance, gangster warfare, and even a 
Wild West Show, the story is a well-knit affair that allows 
Betty Hutton, as Texas, ample opportunity to prove her 
dexterity as an actress; her performance is the mainstay of 
the picture. The action traces Texas' rise as a Rodeo star, 
as a chorus girl, as a musical comedy star, as a movie star, 
and finally as a reigning night-club queen, whose patrons 
delighted to hear her call them "suckers." It has many 
exciting, as well as tender, moments, and one is deeply 
sympathetic towards Texas because of her unfilled romance 
and of her awareness that she had but a short time to live. 
Her devotion to her family endears her to the audience. The 
production values are lavish, the music lively and nostalgic, 
and the dance ensembles exceptionally good: — 

When her improvident father (Barry Fitzgerald) loses 
his money in a poor investment, Texas, a high-spirited girl 
of nineteen, decides to become the family breadwinner. An 
expert horsewoman, she joins a Wild West show owned by 
Bill Kilgannon (Arturo de Cordova), a gambler, and soon 
becomes the show's main attraction. Bill and Texas fall in 
love, but he does not encourage her because he had a wife 
who was confined to a sanitarium. When Bill rejects Her 
love, Texas, unaware of his reasons, leaves the show in a huff 
and marries Tim Callahan (Bill Goodwin), a press agent. 
Tim helps her reach stardom on Broadway, but divorces her 
when he realizes that she still loved Bill. Meanwhile Bill had 
become an impoverished Hollywood producer, and when 
Texas learns the truth about his wife, who had died, she 
gives up her stage career to join him. She becomes a movie 
star under Bill's tutelage, helping to finance the company. 
Her father, however, sells fake stock in the company, and 
Bill, to save him from jail, is compelled to buy out Texas' 
interest through trickery in order that she be spared the 
truth. Texas, misunderstanding, returns to Broadway where 
she becomes a night club queen. Bill manages to buy a half 
interest in the club, and Texas, learning the truth about 
the fake stock, reconciles with him and plans for an early 
wedding. Just before the ceremony, however, Bill shoots 
it out with two gangsters who were trying to "muscle in" on 
the club, killing both men. He is sent to jail, and Texas, 
who had promised to wait for him, dies before he is released. 

Claude Binyon and Frank Butler wrote the screen play, 
Joseph Sistrom produced it, and George Marshall directed 
it. The cast includes Charles Ruggles, Albert Dekker, 
Maurice Rocco, the Maxellos and others. Unobjectionable 
morally. 

"A Thousand and One Nights" with 
Cornel Wilde, Phil Silvers and Evelyn Keyes 

(Columbia, July 19; time, 92 min.) 

Good. It is an Arabian Nights fantasy, in Technicolor, 
somewhat similar to such pictures as "Sudan," "Cobra 
Woman," and "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves," produced 
by Universal in recent years; but what makes this one more 
entertaining is the excellent comedy contributed by Phil 
Silvers. As a pickpocket "born one thousand years before 
his time," Silvers provokes considerable laughter by his use 
of modern "jive-talk" as he cavorts about ancient Bagdad. 
One of the really hilarious sequences is where he "kibitzes" 
a gin rummy game between two palace guards. Modern 
touches have been injected into the story, giving it a number 
of amusing, novel twists. The production values are very 
good, and there are, of course, harem sequences and beauti- 
ful girls to enhance the usual oriental splendor found in 
pictures of this type. The picture will require considerable 
exploitation, for the players mean little at the box-office: — 

Cornel Wilde, the "Frank Sinatra" of his day, becomes en- 
amored of Adele Jergens, the Sultan's daughter, and sneaks 
into the palace to woo her. He is discovered and, together 



with his pal, Phil Silvers, is thrown into jail. Adele arranges 
for their escape into the desert, where they meet an old her- 
mit who tells Wilde of a magic lamp, reposing in a mountain 
cave, which could grant his every wish. Their search for 
the lamp takes Wilde and Silvers through many dangers 
before they succeed in obtaining it. When Wilde rubs the 
lamp, an alluring Genie (Evelyn Keyes) appears and offers 
to do his bidding. Wilde instructs her to transform him 
into an Hindustan prince so that he could return to the 
palace and marry the princess. Meanwhile, at the palace, 
the Sultan had been abducted by his villainous twin brother 
(both played by Dennis Hoey), who had taken his place 
on the throne and had promised the Princess to Phil Van 
Zandt, his accomplice. With Wilde's arrival at the palace, 
there follows a series of wild adventures, during which he 
loses the lamp and almost loses hi6 head, but he recovers the 
lamp in time to restore the throne to the real Sultan, thus 
winning his approval to marry the princess. 

Wilfred H. Pcttitt, Richard English, and Jack Henley 
wrote the screen play, Samuel Bischoff produced it, and 
Alfred E. Green directed it. The cast includes Gus Schilling, 
Richard Hale, John Abbott and others. 



"Junior Miss" with Peggy Ann Gamer 

(20th Century-Fox, August, time, 94 mm.) 

This screen version of "Junior Miss," which was a highly 
successful Broadway stage play, is a thoroughly delightful, 
heart-warming comedy of family life. The action is breezy, 
the dialogue bright, and the production, acting, and direc- 
tion, first rate. Although primarily a comedy, there is con- 
siderable human interest in it, and at times it is quite senti- 
mental. Most of the action revolves around an imaginative 
thirteen-year-old girl, played brilliantly by Peggy Ann 
Garner, whose well-intentioned attempts to arrange other 
people's lives result in a series of highly amusing crises and 
misunderstandings that keep one laughing all the way 
through. Considerable comedy is provoked by the wrangling 
between Peggy and her elder sixteen-year-old sister, and 
by the parade of the latter's juvenile suitors, who flit in and 
out of the family apartment at the most inappropriate times. 
The story is lightweight, but much of it is so true to life 
that audiences will chuckle with delight at some of the 
situations, comparing them with events in their own lives: — 

Peggy, daughter of Allyn Joslyn and Sylvia Field, sus- 
pects her father of philandering with his employer's daughter 
(Faye Marlow), when she sees him engage her in an in- 
timate conversation. Peggy hits upon a plan to "save" her 
happy home when Michael Dunne, her mother's younger 
brother, arrives unexpectedly after a mysterious absence of 
four years, during which he had taken a drinking cure. 
Imagining that Dunne had been in jail, Peggy, to remove the 
"threat" to her mother's happiness, promotes a match be- 
tween him and Faye, hoping it would give Dunne a new 
lease on life, and would help Faye to get away from her 
domineering father (John Alexander). The meeting be- 
tween the young couple culminates in their elopement just 
as Alexander plans to make Joslyn a junior partner in the 
firm. Learning from Peggy that Dunne had a "prison back- 
ground," Alexander becomes infuriated, disowns Faye, and 
discharges Joslyn. Peggy, imagining her family faced with 
poverty, is inconsolable. A few days later, Alexander comes 
to Joslyn's apartment and demands to see Faye. Just then, 
Scotty Beckett, 'teen-aged son of Alexander's best client, 
telephones that he was on his way to the apartment to 
escort Peggy to a party. Hearing the name, Alexander be- 
lieves it to be the elder Beckett, and assumes that Joslyn 
was about to steal him as a client. He changes his attitude 
hastily, granting Joslyn the partnership and forgiving Faye. 
He soon realizes his mistake when young Beckett arrives, 
but by that time a good feeling had been established and all 
rejoice as Peggy, looking lovely in her party dress, takes her 
boy-friend's arm. 

George Seaton wrote the screen play and directed it, and 
William Perlberg produced it. The cast includes Mona Free- 
ban, Connie Gilchrist, Barbara Whiting, Stanley Prager 
and others. 



June 16, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



95 



"Along Came Jones" with Gary Cooper 
and Loretta Young 

(RKO, no release date set; time, 90 min.) 

A fairly good western. The amusing story, the presence 
of Gary Cooper, and the good direction, raises it to a level 
high above the average western. The picture suffers from 
many slow spots because of too much talk, but one does not 
mind the lack of action since the dialogue is quite witty. 
Cooper enacts the role of a mild-mannered, roving cowboy, 
clumsy with a gun, who finds himself mistaken for a no- 
torious bandit. Most of the comedy is provoked by the man- 
ner in which he tries to live up to this dubious distinction, 
only to find himself hunted by an assortment of characters, 
including the bandit himself. William Demarest, as Cooper's 
saddle pal, is responsible for many laughs. Loretta Young, 
as the bandit's girl who falls in love with the awkward 
Cooper, is appealing and adds to the fun. It has a fair share 
of excitement and suspense: — 

Riding into the small frontier town of Paynesville, Cooper 
and Demarest are amazed when the townspeople draw away 
from them and treat them with pronounced respect. Cooper, 
enjoying the fact that others were in awe of him, is aston- 
ished when Loretta Young embraces him suddenly and tells 
him to follow her out of town quickly, because several men 
had guns trained on him. Cooper and Demarest obey Loret- 
ta's instructions, accompanying her to her ranch. Arriving 
there, Cooper learns that he had been mistaken for Dan 
Duryca, a stagecoach bandit, who was being hunted by the 
Sheriff, a U.S. Marshal, an express company agent, and a 
group of ranch owners. Loretta, who was Duryea's sweet- 
heart, intimates that she, too, believed Cooper was the 
bandit, and she advises him ride south quickly, hoping that he 
would draw the attention of the man-hunters, thus permitting 
Duryea, who was hiding nearby, a chance to escape. Cooper, 
however, suspects her motive and refuses to leave. Loretta, 
who felt obligated morally to Duryea but did not love him, 
finds herself falling in love with Cooper. She redoubles her 
efforts to get him to leave the country but to no avail. 
Cooper's stubborness leads him into a series of complica- 
tions, during which he becomes involved in the murder of 
the express agent, and rouses Duryea's jealousy over Loretta. 
Duryea, whose shooting prowess was unbeatable, gets into 
a gun duel with Cooper, a poor shot. Cooper misses Duryea 
with every shot while the bandit laughingly wounds him at 
will, but Loretta comes to the rescue by killing Duryea with 
a well-aimed shot. Completely bewildered, Cooper believes 
that Loretta meant to kill him but had shot Duryea by- mis- 
take. She brings him to his senses by shooting a hole through 
his hat, thus convincing him of her accuracy and of her love. 

Nunnally Johnson wrote the screen play, and Gary 
Cooper produced it for International Pictures. Stuart Heisler 
directed it. The cast includes Frank Sully, Arthur Loft, Rus- 
sell Simpson, Ray Teal and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"Bedside Manner" with Ruth Hussey, 
John Carroll and Charles Ruggles 

(United Artists, no release date set; time, 79 min.) 

Just moderately entertaining program fare. Aside from a 
few comical situations, there is not much to recommend in 
this romantic comedy-drama, for the story is on the ludicrous 
side, and the action unfolds at a liesurely pace. Moreover, 
the plot developments are obvious; one knows from the be- 
ginning just how the story will progress and end. Ruth 
Hussey and John Carroll strive to make something of their 
parts, but they are handicapped by the material. The chief 
trouble with the story is that the comedy is forced to a point 
of silliness, causing most of it to fall flat: — - 

En route to Chicago to work in a research laboratory, 
Ruth Hussey, a woman doctor, stops off at Blitheville, her 
home town, to visit her uncle (Charles Ruggles), one of the 
town's few physicians, who, because of war-time conditions 
and the shortage of doctors, was finding it difficult to take 
care of his many patients. Ruggles tries to induce Ruth to 
remain in town as his assistant, but she declines, informing 



him that her heart was set on laboratory work in Chicago. 
Playing on her sympathy, Ruggles manages to persuade 
Ruth to help him for a few days, but, when he becomes 
convinced that she had no intention of remaining, he plans 
a campaign to keep her in town. He asks John Carroll, a test 
pilot, whom Ruth had treated for minor injuries suffered in 
a crash, to fake pantaphobia (fear of everything), hoping 
that Ruth will stay to treat him. Carroll, who had fallen in 
love with her, gladly agrees to the scheme. Alarmed and feel- 
ing partly responsible for his condition. Ruth postpones her 
departure to make an intense study of his "affliction." She 
tries numerous methods to cure him but to no avail, finally 
determining that he needed a love life. Following her advice, 
Carroll pretends to have fallen in love with Ann Ruther- 
ford, and exaggerates to Ruth about his progress with the 
young lady. Ruth, finding herself jealous, comes to the 
realization that she had fallen in love with her patient. She 
confesses her predicament to her uncle, who inadvertently 
reveals that she had been tricked. Ruth avenges herself by 
putting Carroll through a series of medical tortures, but the 
finish finds them in each other's arms. 

Frederick Jackson and Malcolm Stuart Boylan wrote the 
screen play, and Andrew Stone produced and directed it. 
The cast includes Claudia Drake, Esther Dale, Grant Mitch- 
ell, Frank Jenks, Bert Roach and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"Conflict" with Humphrey Bogart, 
Alexis Smith and Sydney Greenstreet 

.(Warner Bros., June 30; time, 86 min.) 
An exceptionally good murder melodrama, revolving 
around a man who plans carefully every move connected 
with the murder of his wife so that he could commit a per- 
fect crime. Although the spectator is let in on the killing, 
he is kept intrigued and even baffled by the psychological 
manner in which the murderer's resistance is gradually worn 
down, compelling him to visit the scene of his crime, where 
he is caught by the police. There is an undercurrent of ex- 
citement throughout the action as the killer comes across bits 
of evidence indicating that his wife still lived, while other 
incidents lead him to believe that he is suffering hallucina- 
tions. Humphrey Bogart, as the suave, cool murderer, is 
cast in a role that should delight his fans, and Sydney Green- 
street, as the psychiatrist who tracks him down, is very ef- 
fective. It is not a cheerful entertainment, but it is in- 
triguing: — 

Bogart, an engineer, and Rose Hobart, his wife, looked 
upon by friends as a happy couple, quarrel when she ac- 
cuses him of being in love with her younger sister (Alexis 
Smith). Bogart admits it. Returning from a dinner tendered 
to them by Sydney Greenstreet, a psychiatrist, Bogart suf- 
fers a leg injury in an auto accident. While convalescing, 
Bogart conceives a plan to murder his wife. He feigns 
lameness, though fully recovered, and, on a pretext, de- 
clines to accompany his wife on an auto trip to a mountain 
resort. He follows her soon after she leaves, blocking her 
car on a lonely road and killing her. He leaves her body in 
the car, which he pushes over a cliff. Returning home, he 
resumes his role of invalid and reports his wife missing. 
Greenstreet, hearing Bogart's description of his wife as he 
last saw her, becomes suspicious when he states that she 
was wearing a rose; Greenstreet had given her the rose after 
she left Bogart. Bogart loses no time trying to court Alexis, 
but she rejects his advances. While the police search for his 
wife, Bogart keeps finding evidence indicating that she was 
alive. The strain soon begins to tell on him and, when he 
sees a woman resembling his wife pass him on the street, 
he begins to question his own sanity. To put his mind at 
rest, he visits the murder scene, only to be caught by Green- 
street and the police, who had been waiting for him. Green- 
street reveals that he had devised the incidents that drove 
Bogart back to the scene of the crime. 

Arthur T. Horman and Dwight Taylor wrote the screen 
play, William Jacobs produced it, and Curtis Bernhardt di- 
retced it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



96 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



June 16, 1945 



PINE AND THOMAS' NEW CONTRACT 

According to a trade paper report, Pine and 
Thomas, independent producers releasing their pic- 
tures through Paramount, have signed a new contract 
with Paramount to produce seven pictures for the 
1945-46 season. 

Harrison's Reports congratulates Pine and 
Thomas for their achievement but hopes that their 
1945-46 season's pictures will be of a caliber approxi- 
mating the quality of Paramount pictures, and not of 
the quality they have been so far delivering, which 
quality has been on about a par with the old Arrow- 
head pictures. 

Because of the fact that the Pine-Thomas pictures 
arc released through Paramount, they are sold as part 
of a block, with the result, naturally, that exhibitors 
are compelled to buy them, and at rentals that are far 
in excess of the rentals charged for pictures of similar 
quality distributed by the smaller independent com- 
panies. It is doubtful if many exhibitors would buy the 
Pine-Thomas pictures at the rentals Paramount is de- 
manding if they were sold on a "Buy them if you like 
them" basis. 

To prove this point, Harrison's Reports chal- 
lenges Mr. Charles Reagan, Paramount's general sales 
manager, to sell them on that basis. 

This paper wishes, of course, that Pine and 
Thomas, whose pictures have be«n almost of the same 
formula since they signed with Paramount, would 
improve the quality of their next season's product. In 
fairness to them, however, it should be pointed out 
that, comparing their pictures with the "B" pictures 
of other companies, they have not done bad work at 
all, for one-half of such pictures, of all companies, 
might well have been left in story form to die of old 
age on the shelves of their editorial departments. 

The chief objection to such pictures is, not so much 
that they have been permitted to come into existence, 
but that they are forced on exhibitors as part of a 
block, at exorbitant rentals. 

"Jungle Captive" with Otto Kruger, 
Jerome Cowan and Amelita Ward 

(Universal, June 29; time, 63 min.) 

A gruesome program horror picture, the sort that 
should easily satisfy the ardent followers of this type 
of entertainment. Its grusomeness, however, and at 
times its repulsiveness, puts it in the "not for children" 
class. As a matter of fact, many adults, too, may find 
the proceedings repulsive, for the "ape-woman" char- 
acter is hideous, as is the mad scientist's assistant, a 
ghoulish, half-witted handyman. Like most horror 
stories, this one, too, is far-fetched, and most of what 
transpires has been done many times, but it does suc- 
ceed in generating considerable suspense: — 

Otto Kruger, head scientist of a chemical-biological 
laboratory, perfects a method of restoring life to dead 
rabbits, and decides secretly to experiment with the 
corpse of an "ape-woman." Instructed to steal the 
"ape-woman's" body from the morgue, Rondo Hat- 
ton, Kruger 's ghoulish handyman, murders a morgue 
attendant to accomplish his mission. Detective Jerome 
Cowan discovers a murder clue that leads him to 
Kruger's laboratory, where he finds reason to suspect 
Phil Brown, Kruger's youthful assistant, of involve- 
ment in the crime. Shortly after, Kruger lures Amelita 
Ward, his secretary and Brown's fiancee, to a lonely 
farmhouse, where he forces her to undergo a blood 



transfusion that makes her deathly ill but brings the 
"ape-woman" back to life as a beautiful girl. Inspired 
by his success, Kruger plans to transplant Amelita's 
brain to the former "ape-woman's" skull. Meanwhile 
Brown, who had been searching for Amelita, finds a 
clue that leads him to the farmhouse. There, he is dis- 
covered and overpowered, tied to a chair, and com- 
pelled to watch Kruger prepare for the brain opera- 
tion. Just as Kruger starts to operate on Amelita, the 
"ape-woman" reverts to her primitive savage state. 
She breaks the straps holding her to the operating 
table, and strangles Kruger to death. She turns to kill 
Amelita, but the young girl is saved by the timely 
arrival of Detective Cowan, who shoots the savage 
creature, killing her. 

M. Coatcs Webster and Dwight V. Babcock wrote 
the screen play, Morgan B. Cox produced it, and 
Harold Young directed it. The cast includes Vicky 
Lane and others. 



"One Exciting Night" with William Gargan 
and Ann Savage 

(Paramount, no release date set; time, 63 min.) 

A tiresome murder melodrama, with comedy; it 
will best serve as the lower half of a mid-week double 
bill in theatres catering to undiscriminating patrons. 
There isn't much to the story, and what there is of it 
is so confusing and illogical that one loses interest in 
the action. Not much can be said for the comedy; it 
has a few amusing situations here and there, but the 
laughs are not very numerous, and these are not of the 
strong sort. Part of the action takes place in a wax 
museum, giving the picture a certain amount of eeri- 
ness, and it has a few suspensive situations: — 

Shortly after George Stone, a hunted criminal, is 
shot by George Zucco, who takes a package of dia- 
monds from his pocket, the body is found by a police- 
man in an alley adjoining a wax museum. The body 
disappears while the policeman reports to headquar- 
ters, only to be found later by Ann Savage, a reporter, 
in her apartment above the museum. Seeking to score 
a "scoop," Ann hides the body amidst the wax figures 
in the museum, and telephones her paper for a photog- 
rapher. Meanwhile William Gargan, a rival reporter, 
whom Ann loved despite their constant wrangling, ar- 
rives at the museum for a story on the missing body. 
Ann's photographer arrives at the same time and in- 
advertently indicates to Gargan that Ann was hiding 
the body. Gargan compels Ann to share the story with 
him, but, while they argue, Charles Halton, owner of 
the museum, and Leo Gorcey, his assistant, discover 
the body and decide to get rid of it. Ann and Gargan 
begin a search for the corpse, during which they are 
joined by Zucco, who identifies himself as an insur- 
ance detective, hired by diamond merchants to recover 
the stolen jewels. Zucco explains that he wanted to 
find the body and dispose of it so that he could keep 
the jewels for himself. He offers to share the loot with 
Ann and Gargan in return for their help. After a 
series of incidents, in which the body keeps reappear- 
ing and vanishing as all concerned search for it, and in 
which Zucco tries to murder Ann and Gargan, the 
young couple trap Zucco, recover the jewels, share the 
reward and the story, and agree to join forces for life. 

David Lang wrote the screen play, Pine and 
Thomas produced it, and William C. Thomas di- 
rected it. 
. Unobjectionable morally. 



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Vol. XXVII 



SATURDAY, JUNE 23, 1945 



No. 25 



Three Judges for the New York Anti-Trust Suit 



The attorneys for the distributor-defendants in the 
Government's anti-trust suit, whose legalistic antics 
have succeeded in protracting the case ever since it 
was filed in 1938, almost did somersaults this past 
week, when they learned of the surprise move made 
by U.S. Attorney General Biddle, who, under the 
Expediting Act, filed a certificate in the New York 
Federal District Court asking that a special three- 
judge court be appointed to hear the case when it 
comes to trial, instead of its being heard by Judge 
Henry Goddard, alone. 

Under the Expediting Act, the Attorney General, 
by certifying that the case was of general public im- 
portance, made mandatory the hearing of the case by 
three judges, of whom at least one had to be a circuit 
judge, that is, a judge of the Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Accordingly, within a few days after Biddle filed 
the certificate, Judge Learned W. Hand, Senior Cir- 
cuit Judge of the Federal Court of the Southern Dis- 
trict of New York, ordered the appointment of the 
three-judge court, naming District Judge Goddard, 
who had been handling the case since its inception; 
District Judge John Bright, who was the presiding 
justice in the motion picture "extortion" case involv- 
ing Willie Bioff and George Browne; and" Circuit 
Judge Augustus N. Hand, whose profound legal back- 
ground, and whose wide experience, particularly with 
the Government's suit against the aluminum trust, 
mark him as one highly qualified to judge the issues 
involved in the motion picture anti-trust suit. 

It is apparent that the distributor-defendants 1 at- 
torneys do not relish this latest move of the Govern- 
ment, for, according to reports in the daily trade 
papers, some of them resent the appointment of a 
three-judge court as a "departure" from accepted 
procedure, and they see little likelihood of it resulting 
in a speedier trial. In fact, they take pains to point 
out that this procedure may slow up the trial, because, 
as they claim, three judges, not one, will have to pass 
on the different motions that will be made during the 
course of the proceedings. 

What seems to annoy these attorneys, though they 
do not say it in so many words, is that Judge Goddard, 
who thus far has been the sole judge and whose rulings 
have not been too unfavorable to them, will be re- 
duced sharply in influence, for, under court proce- 
dure, Judge Augustus N. Hand, being a circuit judge, 
is a senior judge, and he automatically becomes the 
presiding judge. 

A concise, yet comprehensive study of this latest 
move by the Government, and a review of the con- 
ditions that brought it about, are contained in a bul- 



letin issued by Abram F. Myers, general counsel of 
Allied States Association, who has this to say, in part: 

"It is not difficult for anyone who has followed this 
case since it was filed on July 20, 1938, to understand 
why the Attorney General felt it was his duty to take 
this action. The wonder is that he did not do so long 
ago. Those who read the brief as amicus curia [friend 
of the court] filed in behalf of the Conference of In- 
dependent Exhibitors on the Consent Decree will re- 
call that it was there pointed out that the case was one 
of the class which, under the Act of Congress, should 
be so expedited. 

"The critical comments from Big Eight ranks are 
understandable and were to be expected. By their 
extraordinary tactics they have staved off a determina- 
tion of the suit for seven long years. But their claim 
(as reported by Motion Picture Daily) that the At- 
torney General's action will prolong the trial will not 
stand the test ..." 

Pointing to the distributor-defendants' "appalling 
record of delay," Mr. Myers states that "for two 
years after the suit was filed the proceedings were 
marked by interminable delays. Assistant Attorney 
General Thurman Arnold, testifying before a sub- 
committee of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary 
on April 22, 1940, submitted a 22J/2 page memoran- 
dum containing a condensed outline of the legal fenc- 
ing, demands for disclosure, dilatory proceedings and 
accomodations to counsel which had prevented a trial 
up to that day. 

"When the case finally came on for trial in June, 
1940, but before any testimony could be offered the 
proceeding was mysteriously halted and counsel en- 
tered upon protracted negotiations for a consent de- 
cree. The results of those labors, conducted behind 
closed doors, were finally made public and at a hear- 
ing before Judge Goddard entry of the proposed de- 
cree was opposed by every organized exhibitor group 
in the country. Nevertheless Judge Goddard signed 
the decree on November 20, 1940. The decree af- 
fected only five of the eight defendants. 

"The defects, imperfections, inadequacy and in- 
justice of the consent decree have been so many times 
set forth by Allied and other exhibitor groups, and 
especially by the Conference of Independent Exhibi- 
tors on the Consent Decree, that they need not be 
rehashed at this time. 

"The decree provided a three-year test period which 
expired on November 20, 1943. It was not until Janu- 
ary 20, 1944, that the five consenting defendants sub- 
mitted their proposals for an amended and supple- 
( Continued on last page) 



98 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



June 23, 1945 



"Captain Eddie" with Fred MacMurray 
and Lynn Bari 

(20th Century-Fox, September; time, 107 min.) 
Biographical of the life of Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, 
this is a heart-warming, human interest drama, the sort that 
should go over well with most audiences, for it is the story 
of a man whose fine qualities, devotion to his family and 
friends, faith in the future, and courage, should prove an 
inspiration to every one. The producers deserve praise for 
the manner in which they have handled the story, for Rick- 
enbacker's tenacity, perseverance, and determination to make 
good, are presented, not by preachment, but by action. It 
has plentiful human interest, a charming romance that re- 
mains appealing even after marriage, and good touches of 
comedy. 

The story opens with the crash of Rickcnbacker's plane 
in the Pacific in 1942, while on an important mission for 
the War Department. Huddled with his crew companions 
in three inflated rubber boats, Rickenbacker, whose fatth in 
their eventual rescue never wavers, relives his life during 
the nineteen-day ordeal in mid-ocean, without either food 
or water. Through a series of flashbacks, his life is traced 
through his early days as a thirteen-year-old mechanically- 
minded boy, whose experiment with a home-made flying 
contraption off the roof of the family barn almost proves 
disastrous; as a boy-mechanic in an auto shop, shortly after 
his father's tragic death, when he spent his first week's 
wages for a ride in a crude bi-plane; as a young auto sales- 
man, during which time he solved some of the flaws in the 
early automobile, and at which time he romanced with 
Adelaide, his wife-to-be; as an outstanding auto racing 
driver, whose fame led to an appointment as General Persh- 
ing's chauffeur in France; and as America's flying ace in 
World War I, when he shot down twenty-six German 
planes. Shown also is his rise as a leader in the air trans- 
portation field. The story closes with his rescue in the 
Pacific, vindicating his unwavering faith. 

Through all this there are many strong dramatic and 
emotional situations, holding one's interest throughout. The 
acting of Fred MacMurray, as Rickenbacker, is outstanding; 
he plays the part with ease and conviction. Lynn Bari, as 
his wife; Mary Philips, as his mother; Charles Bickford, as 
his father; Darryl Hickman, as Rickenbacker the boy; James 
Glcason, as a pioneer auto salesman; Thomas Mitchell, as 
an auto builder, and Lloyd Nolan, as one of the ill-fated 
plane's crew, portray their individual roles effectively. The 
production values are good. 

John Tucker Battle wrote the screen play, Winfield R. 
Shcchan produced it, and Lloyd Bacon directed it. Christy 
Walsh was associate producer. Others in the cast include 
Spring Byington and Richard Conte. 

Suitable for all. 



"The Woman in Green" with Basil Rathbone 
and Nigel Bruce 

(Universal, July 27: time, 68 min.) 

This is a routine "Sherlock Holmes" program murder- 
mystery melodrama, no better and no worse than the previ- 
ous pictures in the series. This time the famed detective 
matches wits with his arch enemy, "Professor Moriarity," 
head of a blackmail-murder ring, which used hypnotism in 
the commission of their crimes. The story's development 
follows a pattern familiar to the series; that is, Scotland 
Yard finds itself stumped by the crimes, "Holmes" is called 
in on the case and, through his amazing but far-fetched 
powers of deduction, solves the murders and captures the 
criminals. It has a fair share of suspense, and there is the 
usual comedy provoked by the blustering antics of Nigel 
Bruce, as "Dr. Watson." Basil Rathbone, as "Holmes," 
gives his usual competent performance:- — 

Baffled by a series of "finger murders, Scotland Yard 
calls upon Holmes to solve the crimes. Holmes, aided by 
Dr. Watson, learns that, in each case, the victim was a 
young woman whose right thumb had been hacked off. Soon 
after, Sir George Fenwick (Paul Cavanagh) is found 
murdered, and a missing thumb is found on his person. 



Holmes, sifting various clues, somes to the conclusion that 
the crimes had been committed by a blackmail ring. His in- 
vestigation discloses that the ring was headed by his old 
enemy, Professor Moriarity (Henry Daniell), and that one 
of his confederates was a beautiful young woman, Lydia 
Marlow (Hillary Brooke), who had been associated roman- 
tically with Fenwick. Holmes learns also that Lydia and the 
Professor hypnotized wealthy men, like Fenwick, planted 
missing thumbs on them, and then convinced them that they 
had committed murder while suffering from amnesia. In a 
desperate attempt to rid herself of Holmes, Lydia lures him 
to her apartment and attempts to hypnotize him. Holmes, 
pretending to be mesmerized, follows Morianty's orders 
when the criminal instructs him to walk along the parapet 
of a high roof. Just as he apparently prepares to step off into 
space. Dr. Watson and the police arrive suddenly and seize 
the gang. Moriarity, in a futile attempt to escape, plunges 
headlong from the roof to his death. 

Bertram Millhauser wrote the screen play, based on the 
characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Roy Wil- 
liam Neill produced and directed it. The cast includes Eve 
Amber, Mary Gordon, Frederic Worlock and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"Story of G.I. Joe" with Burgess Meredith 
and Robert Mitchum 

(United Artists, no release dale set, time, 109 min.) 

Good. The late Ernie Pyle's "Story of G.I. Joe" comes to 
the screen as a genuine tribute to the American infantryman, 
without whom victory could not be achieved. The picture 
has a documentary-like quality, highlighted by human in- 
terest incidents in the lives of a group of foot soldiers, the 
sort that characterized Ernie Pyle's dispatches as a war cor- 
respondent. It is a war picture, but one of the best and, in 
view of the fact that Ernie Pyle's writings were probably 
the most widely read of any war correspondent, motion 
picture-goers who have become apathetic towards war pic- 
tures might feel differently about this one, not only because 
of Ernie Pyle's fame, but because it is an honest, void-of- 
Hollywood heroics account of the rigors, hardships, and 
heartaches endured by the average soldier, eloquently 
and realistically portrayed by an excellent cast. 

The story is concentrated on the fortunes and misfortunes 
of a group of infantrymen, and it begins during the North 
African campaign as the men slog through mud and rain 
headed for their first taste of combat, which ends in defeat 
as they find themselves forced to retreat. Months later, the 
men, battle veterans by this time, join in the Sicilian cam- 
paign and, from there, fight there way to Cassino where, 
after being halted temporarily by deadly Nazi fire directed 
from a monastery observation post, they turn defeat into 
victory and start along the road to Rome. 

Through all this Pyle, played superbly by Burgess Mere- 
dith, lives with the men and becomes their confidant, but at 
all times remains in the background, understandingly ob- 
serving their despair and hopes, and hating the war that 
caused them untold suffering. The story has its humorous 
moments, but for the most part it is somber. Robert Mitch- 
um, as the understanding Captain, whose death saddens his 
men, is exceptionally good, as is Freddie Steele, as the battle- 
hardened sergeant, whose greatest thrill was to listen to the 
recorded voice of his baby. There are numerous other emo- 
tional-stirring incidents, such as the wedding of a Red Cross 
nurse to one of the men in a battle-scarred church, and their 
honeymoon in an ambulance; Pyle's rustling up of a turkey 
dinner for the men on Christmas; the strain of battle caus- 
ing Steele to lose his mind; and the personal tragedies when 
buddies fail to return from patrols. The battle sequences are 
particularly effective. 

Leopold Atlas, Guy Endore, and Philip Stevenson wrote 
the screen play, Lester Cowan produced it, and William 
Wellman directed it. The cast includes Wally Cassell, Jimmy 
Lloyd, Jack Reilly, Bill Murphy and others. 

There are some sex implications in one or two of the 
incidents, but it is doubtful if children will understand 
them. 



June 23, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



99 



"A Bell for Adano" with John Hodiak, 
Gene Tierney and William Bendix 

(20th Century-Fox, August; time, 104 min.) 

As a novel, John Hershey's "A Bell for Adano" won the 
Pulitzer Prize, and as a stage production, it was hailed as 
one of the finest war plays. No less can be said of the screen 
version, for, despite its episodic quality and a few draggy 
sequences, it remains an absorbing human-interest drama, as 
well* as a meaningful document concerning the problems 
that face the civil affairs officers of the Allied Military Gov 
ernment in their endeavors to restore a normal way of life 
to war-ravaged communities that had been under Fascist 
rule. Unlike most war pictures, which have become outdated 
owing to the Allied victory in Europe, this one, because of 
its subject matter, is timely. 

Briefly, the story revolves around John Hodiak, as "Major 
Joppolo," who arrives in Adano, a war-torn Sicilian town, 
to become its administrator under AMG regulations. Al' 
though the most essential needs of the people are food and 
water, the Major finds that what they desired most was a 
new church bell to replace the one Mussolini had melted 
down for munitions. The Major, realizing that the bell was 
spiritually important to the people, promises to exert his 
greatest efforts to obtain one. He wins their respect and 
admiration by his sincere efforts in their behalf, and amazes 
them by his understanding of their problems, no matter how 
small, and by his democratic way of solving them. Matters 
become complicated for the Major when certain military 
orders issued by his commander threaten to cut off the 
town's water supply. Rather than have the people suffer, 
he countermands the order, with the result that he is re 
called from his post. As the Major departs, firm in his be- 
lief that people are more important than rules, Adano's new 
bell begins to peal. 

What gives the picture its interesting quality is its rich- 
ness in characterizations and incidents, such as the Major 
convincing the people that it was far better to humiliate 
their former collaborationist-mayor than to lynch him; the 
meeting in the public square of the town's women and their 
returning Italian soldiers; the joy of the people when the 
Navy, in cooperation with the Major, hauls a huge bell into 
town; the grateful townspeople's party in honor of the 
Major, and their presentation to him of a life-sized portrait 
of himself — these and other incidents give the story many 
meaningful and emotional moments. It has considerable 
comedy too, provoked by the excitable nature of the Italian 
peasants. John Hodiak, as the Major, is militarily proper 
but warm and sincere, and William Bendix, as his loyal 
sergeant, contributes a telling performance. Gene Tierney, 
as a fisherman's daughter who reminds the Major of his 
wife, has little to do. Some of the others in the expert cast 
include Stanley Prager, Henry Morgan, Montague Banks, 
Marcel Dalio, Fortunio Bonanova, Henry Armetta, Roman 
Bohnen, Luis Alberni and Eduardo Ciannelli. 

Lamar Trotti and Norman R. Raine wrote the screen play, 
Mr. Trotti and Louis D. Lighton produced it, and Henry 
King directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"The Naughty Nineties" 
with Abbott and Costello 

(Universal, July 6; time, 76 min.) 
This slapstick comedy will have to depend on the draw- 
ing power of Abbott and Costello; as entertainment, it is 
just fair, with an appeal strictly for those who have not yet 
tired of this comedy team's gags and routines, most of which 
are a rehash of the ones used in their previous pictures. The 
story is so thin that, in order to pad it out to a full length 
feature, the producer had to use up some of the footage in 
the most stupid type of slapstick imaginable. In one sequence, 
for instance, almost ten minutes are devoted to men slap- 
ping, punching, and chasing each other; this is amusing for 
the first minute or so, but it soon becomes tiresome. In its 
favor is the fast action, as well as some tuneful songs: — 



Henry Travers, Captain of a Mississippi River showboat, 
ties up at a river town and, despite the advice of Bud 
Abbott, his leading man, Lou Costello, his chief roustabout, 
and Lois Collier, his daughter, becomes friendly with three 
dubious characters — Alan Curtis, a gentleman gambler, Rita 
Johnson, his companion, and Joe Sawyer, their formidable 
bodyguard. All three had been ordered by the local police 
to leave town. The kind-hearted Captain entertains his 
visitors and promises to be their guest in a St. Louis gambling 
house when his boat docks at that port. Keeping his promise, 
the Captain visits the gambling house where Curtis and 
Rita, despite the efforts of Abbott and Costello to stop 
them, fleece the Captain in a crooked card game and win a 
controlling interest in the showboat. With a crew of crooks, 
the showboat sets sail again, much to the despair of the 
honest Captain, who is compelled to stand by and watch his 
craft operated as a gambling ship. Abbott and Costello, 
however, decide to take matters into their own hands and, 
by resorting to a series of slapstick stunts, throw the ship 
and its patrons into such a state of confusion that the 
gamblers find themselves compelled to vacate the boat and 
to restore its ownership to the Captain. Curtis, reformed by 
his experience, wins Lois' love. 

Edmund L. Hartmann, John Grant, Edmund Joseph and 
Hal Finberg wrote the screen play. Mr. Hartmann and Mr. 
Grant produced it, and Jean Yarbrough directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"Bewitched" with Phyllis Thaxter 
and Edmund Gwenn 

(MGM, no release date set; time, 65 min.) 

This psychological drama is off the beaten path, but as 
entertainment it will probably have more of an appeal to 
the few than to the many. Based on Arch Oboler's story, 
"Alter Ego," it is a character study of a young girl with a 
dual personality — one sweet and kindly, and the other cruel 
and vicious. The manner in which she is plagued by her 
wicked self, and in which a psychiatrist frees her, not only 
from her undesirable personality but also a murder charge, 
is novel and, of course, fantastic. The picture has a somber 
mood throughout, and some parts of it, particularly where 
the girl commits the murder, are unpleasant. Its morbid 
theme, and the fact that the story is developed mostly by 
dialogue, make it doubtful entertainment for the masses. 
The production values are modest: — 

A voice identifying itself as "Karen," and claiming to be 
another personality locked in her brain, plagues Phyllis 
Thaxter and promises never to bother her if she will leave 
her family and her fiance, Henry H. Daniels, Jr. Phyllis flees 
to New York where she tries to lead a happy, normal life. 
There she becomes friendly with Horace McNally, a young 
attorney, who proposes to her. Before Phyllis can decline 
his offer, "Karen's" personality overpowers her and com- 
pels her to kiss McNally passionately. Ashamed, Phyllis 
rushes to her rooming house, where she finds Daniels wait- 
ing to take her back home. "Karen," desiring McNally, over- 
powers Phyllis once again and compels her to stab Daniels 
to death. Brought to trial for murder, Phyllis refuses to de- 
fend herself, and is sentenced to die. McNally, as her at- 
torney, enlists the aid ot Edmund Gwenn, a noted psychia- 
trist, who studies Phyllis' case and comes to the conclusion 
that she had a dual personality. On the eve of the execu- 
tion, Gwenn prevails upon the Governor to have Phyllis 
brought to his office tor an examination. There, through 
hypnotism, Gwenn convinces Phyllis that she was stronger 
than "Karen," and then, speaking to "Karen," convinces 
her that she must die. When Phyllis comes out of her trance, 
it is evident that she had been cured and that only her own 
personality remained. The Governor, satisfied that justice 
had been done, releases Phyllis. 

Arch Obolcr wrote the screen play and directed it, and 
Jerry Bresler produced it. The cast includes Addison Rich- 
ards, Kathleen Lockhart and others. 

The sex situations and the murder make it unsuitable for 
children. 



100 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



June 23, 1945 



mental decree. These were so grossly unfair and in- 
adequate that the Attorney General undoubtedly 
would have rejected them even if the CLE. CD. and 
various public groups had not protested against them. 
After the Attorney General's rejection the defendants 
made no further move and the Attorney General on 
August 7, 1944, submitted his proposals for a decree. 
At a hearing before Judge Goddard on December 20, 
the defendants would not concede law violation even 
to the extent necessary to give the Court jurisdiction 
to arbitrate the differences between the parties as to 
the contents of the decree. 

"The Government then followed the only course 
open to it and filed a motion for a temporary injunc- 
tion and also asked that the case be set for trial on a 
day certain. Judge Goddard consented to hear these 
on March 5, 1945. At the hearing counsel for the de- 
fendants had a field day, wisecracking at the expense 
of Government counsel and those who had asked leave 
to file briefs as amici curiae. Judge Goddard stated 
that if he were to decide the matter at that time he 
would deny the Government's motion. He agreed, 
however, to receive additional briefs but he had not 
ruled on the motion up to the time the Attorney Gen- 
eral's expediting certificate was filed. He granted the 
defendants' request that the trial go over until Fall 
and set it for October 8. 

"One year and seven months after expiration of 
the test period and no action. In the meantime, the 
interminable grind of motions for disclosure, inter- 
rogatories, etc., etc., goes on." 

In a reference to Judge Goddard, Mr. Myers points 
out that his inclusion in the specially constituted court 
will reduce his influence by 33^ per cent. "We do 
not," continues Mr. Myers, "impugn Judge Goddard's 
character or ability when we say that this will be 
welcomed by independent exhibitors who have such 
a vital stake in the proceedings and feel that they 
have not received consideration at his hands. . . . Trade 
paper accounts of the proceedings through the years 
have led those interested and observing laymen to 
wonder if the Government stood a chance in Judge 
Goddard's Court. 

"The summary manner in which the hearing on 
the consent decree was conducted — especially his ap- 
parent grudging attitude toward counsel for large 
groups of exhibitors and the five-minute limitation 
imposed upon them — served to increase their feeling 
of uneasiness and doubt. 

"But the main reason for this feeling grows out of 
the fact that a few years ago Judge Goddard denied 
a motion by the Government to compel certain of the 
defendants to disgorge theatres which they had ac- 
quired subsequent to the decree. It seemed to many 
exhibitors that in doing so Judge Goddard had, in 
effect, sanctioned those acquisitions and they wond- 
ered how he could fairly sit at the trial of a case in 
which the Government asks that the defendants be di- 
vested of all their theatres. 

"None of these things necessarily means that Judge 
Goddard could not fairly decide the case on its merits. 
But from the public point of view it is as necessary 
that the administration of justice be maintained be- 
yond question as it is that it be kept pure. . . ." 

Mr. Myers' expert analysis of the distributor-de- 
fendants' "appalling record of delay" is indicative of 
the fact that there is only one way by which the ex' 
hibitor-producer disputes that have kept the industry 
in a turmoil can be settled, and that is through a final 



adjudication of the issues by the Courts. The pro- 
ducer-distributors were given every opportunity to 
come forward with real concessions, but they respond- 
ed with grudging half-measures. That the Govern- 
ment has grown tired of this dilly-dallying is evident 
from its latest legal move made this past week. A case 
certified to be heard by a three-judge court must, 
under the statute, be "in every way expedited." 

It seems as though the independent exhibitors have 
now arrived at the point where the relief they have 
sought for many years has finally come into sight. 



THE BLACK SHEEP OF THE FAMILY 

"Evidences of an improved set of public relations 
for the motion picture as a result of the industry's war 
efforts," says Terry Ramsaye, editor of Motion Pic- 
ture Herald, in the June 9 issue, "begin to appear — 
and out where they count — among the people of the 
customer communities. 

"The war drives and movements of all sorts from 
bonds to waste paper to blood banks have been in- 
creasing the contacts between exhibitors and the so- 
cially minded leaders of their territories. In many in- 
stances new contacts have been and continue to be 
created. . . ." 

Mr. Ramsaye discusses the remarks of Mr. Hender- 
son M. Richey, of Loew's, who said: "Influential peo- 
ple who have never before given more than a casual 
thought to the motion picture are now aware of it — 
and conscious of the fact that the theatre down the 
street is part of it." He prints also the remark Mr. 
Will Hays made once, to the effect that "nobody is 
for the movies except the people." 

That is the trouble with the industry's standing 
today — its services have been recognized by the peo- 
ple, but not by those who count — the Government 
officials. Did the people's recognition of the motion 
picture industry as a great factor in the life of the 
nation prevent the officials of the U.S. Government 
from putting it in a class with saloons when the Man- 
power Director promulgated his midnight closing 
order for the purpose of conserving electricity? Ask 
Henry Morganthau, Secretary of the U.S. Treasury, 
what he thinks of the motion picture industry, and he 
will rise to its defense with a spontaneity that will 
amaze you. He will assure you that, without the work 
of the industry's components, the Government could 
never have sold so many billions of dollars worth of 
bonds. But what did he do to exempt it from the order 
of the Manpower Director? Nothing! 

When it comes to regarding the motion picture in- 
dustry as an important factor in the life of the nation, 
it is not public recognition that counts so much as it 
is recognition by the Government officials, and by 
Congress. Unless we gain that recognition, not only 
will the industry be considered by them as a wayward 
child, but also a crack-pot Congressman will, now and 
then after the war, rise from his seat and demand that 
it be chained and punished for doing what is con- 
trary to his, probably warped, notion. 

The next time the Secretary of the Treasury ap- 
proaches the industry for its help on a new war loan, 
its leaders should assure Mr. Morganthau, or who- 
ever will be the treasurer at that time, that the indus- 
try could do a far better job if the admission taxes 
were reduced, or even eliminated, so as to attract many 
more potential bond buyers. 

But will they do it? I fear that they will not! 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 187S. 



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Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, JUNE 30, 1945 No. 26 



An Impending Cycle of Crime Pictures 



In an open letter to the Motion Picture Producers 
and Distributors of America (Hays Office) , producer' 
director Frank Borzage last week asked that organiza- 
tion to take steps to prevent an impending cycle of 
gangster and other crime films, stating that "nothing 
can do more harm to this country and the movie in- 
dustry at this particular time." 

I do not have available a copy of Borzage's letter, 
but from what is reported in the daily trade papers 
Borzage contends that, with the nation working on 
plans to bring peace, prosperity and good will to all 
the world, and with foreign countries looking to our 
country for guidance, it is "certainly an inopportune 
time for us to convey the impression that America is 
made up largely of gangsters, black market operators, 
petty racketeers and murderers." He points out also 
that the crime pictures of the early 1930's did much 
to distort the minds of people in other countries on the 
American way of life. 

Mr. Borzage urged that the producers institute a 
system of voluntary censorship, so that future motion 
pictures would give the outside world "a true impres- 
sion of the people who make up this great country," 
and he cited "Going My Way," "Song of Berna- 
dette," and "Wilson" as motion pictures of which 
Hollywood might be proud. 

It seems that Mr. Borzage was prompted to issue 
his admonition against gangster films, because he 
feared that a flood of such pictures might result from 
the box-office success of a "highly publicized gangster 
film recently released. . . ." 

Trem Carr, executive director at Monogram, the 
studio which produced "Dillinger," resented Mr. Bor- 
zage's letter, apparently assuming that it was a direct 
attack on that picture. He, therefore, wrote to Mr. 
Borzage as follows : 

"I have read with deep interest your open letter to 
the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors Asso- 
ciation. It intrigued me no end. Since I am connected 
with the studio which made the picture to which you 
refer as 'a highly publicized gangster film recently re- 
leased, and now doing tremendous business at the 
theatre box-offices all over the country,' I felt it ad- 
visable to point out the fallacies in your statement. 

"I cannot agree fundamentally with your statement 
that foreign nations are looking to the United States 
for guidance from the motion picture industry. Our 
personal activity in the field of diplomacy is very lim- 
ited, and it might be best to leave that work and that 
guidance in the hands of our State Department and 



we in the motion picture business follow their recom- 
mendations, rather than try to set any pattern for 
them to follow. 

"The best reason for having made this picture is 
pointed out by the paragraph in your letter that reads, 
As we know, our Justice Department has announced 
that a great increase in crime may be expected in this 
country after the war. Here the motion picture indus- 
try has the opportunity to help stamp out this crime 
wave before it begins.' We quite agree with this state- 
ment that you make. How shall we treat with this? 
Shall we bury our heads in the sand like ostriches, or 
shall we become realistic and approach this problem 
in the manner in which we may best cope with it? 

"I don't think we would disagree on the power of 
motion pictures to tell a compelling story. The use of 
motion pictures by all of our service forces, both from 
an educational and propaganda standpoint, has 
proved most effective, and we believe that 'Dillinger' 
is proving most effective in awakening the public to 
the danger which might beset our nation after this 
war. Dillinger is depicted in this film as the cruel, in- 
human, ruthless individual that he was. The work of 
the law enforcement bureaus in tracking him down is 
portrayed most effectively. At no time in this picture 
is sympathy aroused for this gangster in any sense. 
The moral that 'Crime Does Not Pay' is pointed out 
most clearly and interestingly. We at Monogram feel 
that if we have in any sense awakened the public's in- 
terest in this potential danger that follows every war, 
we have served a far greater purpose than your letter 
in criticizing the picture could possibly serve. 

"The National Board of Review, Ten leading 
Women's Organizations, Open Road for Boys and 
Film and Radio Discussion Guide have endorsed this 
picture for its message, 'Crime Does Not Pay.' 

"Yes, Hollywood has grown up, and Hollywood is 
assuming its responsibilities to face facts. 

"By the way, Frank, have you had occasion to see 
'Dillinger,' the picture you are criticizing?" 

It seems to me that Trem Carr has misconstrued 
the meaning of Frank Borzage's letter to the MPPDA, 
for his answer to Borzage is no more than a defense 
of his studio for having produced the picture. Yet the 
statement of Mr. Borzage does' not single out "Dill- 
inger" for criticism as a picture. Assuming that he re- 
ferred to "Dillinger" in mentioning "a highly pub- 
licized gangster film recently released," Borzage's 
purpose, I am sure, was to draw attention to the fact 
(Continued on last page) 



102 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



June 30, 1945 



"Rhapsody in Blue" with Robert Alda, 
Joan Leslie and Alexis Smith 

{Warner Bros., no release date set; time, 139 min.) 

Excellent! Based on the life of George Gershwin, 
one of America's most popular musical figures, "Rhap- 
sody in Blue" will undoubtedly prove to be one of the 
top box-office attractions of the season, for it has, not 
only a delightful musical score, which in itself is worth 
the price of admission, but also an inspiring, heart- 
warming story of the phenomenal rise of a lively East 
Side youngster, son of a humble, likable Jewish fam- 
ily. While some liberties have been taken with Gersh- 
win's biography, particularly with regard to the ro- 
mances in his life, the story is essentially a sympathetic 
study of a man who, because of his burning desire and 
ambition to express himself in terms of music, drove 
himself with such force that it led to his untimely 
death at the height of his career, while still a compara- 
tively young man. 

Beginning in New York's lower East Side in the 
early 1900's, the story depicts Gershwin's boyhood 
days at which time his mother bought a piano to teach 
her older son, Ira, how to play, little realizing that 
George, her younger son, had a talent for music. 
George becomes the one to receive piano lessons and, 
at the age of eighteen, encouraged by his family, he 
becomes a professional piano player and obtains em- 
ployment as a "song plugger" in a music publishing 
house. There he meets and falls in love with Julie 
Adams (Joan Leslie), an ambitious young singer. 
Bored with his work as a "song plugger," Gershwin, 
who had already written a few songs of his own, takes 
his tunes to Max Dreyfus (Charles Coburn), another 
publisher, who gives him a contract. Through Drey- 
fus, "Swanee," one of Gershwin's songs, is introduced 
by Al Jolson (played by himself) in a Broadway show, 
and from then on success, money, and fame flood in on 
the young composer. Wanting desperately to write 
classical music, the sort that would live forever, Gersh- 
win finds himself chained to Broadway by a succes- 
sion of his own song hits. His friends spur him on. He 
writes "Rhapsody in Blue," a blend of both classical 
and popular music, and is hailed by the music world 
as a budding genius. Meanwhile his friendship with 
Julie had kept pace with the progress of his career, but 
he leaves her to go to Paris to study for the serious 
music he felt he must write. There, he falls in love 
with Christine Gilbert (Alexis Smith), an American 
girl, with whom he returns to the United States after 
writing his "An American in Paris." But Christine, 
an intelligent woman, realises that music was Gersh- 
win's one consuming interest, and decides to go out 
of his life. Rebuffed by Julie to whom he turns, Gersh- 
win devotes himself wholly to his music as his only 
justification for living. But he drives himself with 
such unrelenting force that he soon becomes a sick 
man. Tortured by pain, and by the agony of being 
unable to produce music, the brilliant young composer 
dies. 

A brief synopsis of the story cannot convey the 
story's many deep emotional situations or its richness 
in human interest and in comedy. Some of the most 
delightful passages in the film deal with the devotion 
and loyalty of the Gershin family for one another. 
Gershwin is portrayed by a newcomer, Robert Alda, 
who gives an exceptionally good performance, play- 
ing the part with restraint and sympathetic under- 



standing. Morris Carnovsky, as Gershwin's father, is 
a grand character, as is Rosemary De Camp, as his 
mother. Herbert Rudley, as Ira Gershwin, is convinc- 
ing. As the young singer with whom Gershwin falls 
in love, Joan Leslie does the best work of her career; 
her singing of the Gershwin melodies, and her danc- 
ing, are among the outstanding highlights. Among 
those who had a part in Gershwin's career, and who 
appear in the picture as themselves, are Oscar Levant, 
who almost steals the picture with his bright, acid 
witticisms, and whose piano playing is stirring; Paul 
Whitcman, who conducts the symphonic premiere of 
"Rhapsody in Blue"; Al Jolson, who sings "Swanee" 
in his inimitable style; Hazel Scott, singing and play- 
ing the piano in a French cafe; Anne Brown, singing 
"Summertime" from "Porgy and Bess"; and Tom 
Patricola, who dances with Miss Leslie. Others in the 
cast include Julie Bishop as Ira's wife, and Albert 
Basserman, as Gershwin's professor. 

The music, as it has already been said is delightful. 
No less than twenty-nine of Gershwin's tunes have 
been worked into the story, and all have been pre- 
sented in brilliant fashion, without retarding the 
movement of the story. 

Howard Koch and Elliot Paul wrote the screen play 
from an original story by Sonja Levien. Jesse L. Lasky 
produced it, and Irving Rapper directed it. 

Suitable for all. 

"Why Girls Leave Home" 
with Sheldon Leonard, Lola Lane and 
Pamela Blake 

(PRC, release date not set; time, 68 min.) 

In spite of the fact that the story is familiar, this 
mixture of drama, popular music, murder-mystery, 
and crime melodrama, is a fairly good program enter- 
tainment. Obviously, the title was selected for its 
exploitation value, but it is too bad that a different 
one was not chosen, for it is somewhat misleading in 
that it gives one the impression that the picture is 
another juvenile delinquency film. Revolving around 
the misadventures of a young girl, who leaves her 
home and family to seek fame as a night-club singer, 
the story, part of which is told by the flashback meth- 
od, deals with her involvement in several murders, 
including an attempt on her own life, before her even- 
tual rescue by a live-wire reporter. The performances 
by the cast are good, but Pamela Blake, as the heroine, 
is outstanding; her singing is pleasing to the ear. Wil- 
liam Berke's expert direction keeps the action moving 
at a fast pace, builds up the suspense, and holds one's 
interest throughout. Parts of the story, however, are 
somewhat sordid, and the character of the heroine 
is demoralizing, for she is shown as becoming a hard- 
ened entertainer, knowingly working in a night-club 
that was a "front" for a crooked gambling game in a 
back room: — 

Sheldon Leonard, a reporter, rescues Pamela Blake 
from drowning and believes that some one had tried 
to murder her, despite the theory of the police that 
she had attempted suicide. While Pamela recovers in 
a hospital, Leonard investigates her background to 
learn who might have had a motive to kill her. His 
investigation discloses that Pamela wanted to become 
a jazz singer, and that, through Elisha Cook, Jr., a 
musician, she had obtained a job in a night club oper- 
ated by Paul Guilfoyle with the aid of Lola Lane. On 



June 30, 1945 HARRISON'S REPORTS 103 



her first night, Pamela had discovered that the night- 
club was a "front" for an illegal gambling establish- 
ment, and had witnessed the murder of two men who 
claimed that they had been cheated. Pamela wanted 
to give up her job, but Guilfoyle did not permit her 
to do so because she knew too much. Through Cook's 
machinations, Claudia Drake, the club's singing star, 
had been discharged, and Pamela had been chosen to 
replace her. Claudia had threatened to even matters 
with Pamela. When Pamela, pleased with her star 
status, had repulsed Cook's advances and had refused 
to show her appreciation to him for being instrumental 
in making her a star, he, too, had become peeved at 
her. Through Constance Worth, Pamela's roommate, 
Leonard learns that Pamela had eventually grown 
tired of her tawdry life, and had threatened to expose 
Guilfoyle's dubious activities. When an attempt is 
made on his own life, and when Claudia is found 
murdered, Leonard becomes convinced that Guilfoyle 
was behind the crimes. Meanwhile Lola and Guil- 
foyle, aware that Leonard was on their trail, spirit 
Pamela out of the hospital, intending to kill her to 
prevent their expose. Leonard arrives at the hospital 
just as they drive away. He gives chase, arriving at 
the night club in time to save Pamela. Cornered, Guil- 
foyle reveals that Lola was the real owner of the club, 
and that she had committed the different murders. 
Lola shoots Guilfoyle, but is overpowered as she at- 
tempts to escape. 

Fanya Foss Lawrence and Bradford Ropes wrote 
the screen play, Sam Sax produced it, and William 
Berke directed it. 

Not for children. 

"Boston Blackie's Rendezvous" 
with Chester Morris 

(Columbia, July 5; time, 64 min.) 

A routine program melodrama, which is somewhat 
unpleasant because it revolves around the machina- 
tions of a homicidal maniac. In substance, the story is 
practically identical to the other pictures in the 
"Boston Blackie" series, with Chester Morris, as the 
reformed crook, being suspected of the crime, and out- 
witting the police in order to prove his innocence. 
For comedy, there is the usual by-play between Morris 
and Richard Lane, the police inspector, but most of 
this is so familiar that one finds little to laugh at. Even 
Morris' escapes from the police, by means of a mas- 
querade, are unimpressive, for the same trick has been 
employed in the last few pictures of the series: — 

Steve Cochran, a wealthy, homicidal maniac, es- 
capes from the institution to which he had been con- 
fined, in order to contact Nina Foch, a dance hall 
hostess, with whom he had been corresponding but 
whom he had never met. Harry Hayden, Cochran's 
uncle, disturbed over the young man's escape, asks 
Chester Morris, his old friend, to locate him without 
publicity. Shortly after Hayden leaves, Cochran, who 
had followed him there, confronts Morris and knocks 
him unconscious. He changes into one of Morris' suits 
and goes to the dance hall to see Nina. Finding that 
Nina was out of town that night, Cochran, emotion- 
ally upset, makes a date with another hostess. He takes 
her to a lonely spot in the country and strangles her. 
Meanwhile Morris, with the aid of his pal, George 
Stone, traces Cochran to the dance hall and learns 
that the maniac had left with another hostess. Fearing 
for the girl's safety, Morris notifies the police. He 



tracks Cochran to the scene of the crime and, just 
as he finds the body, police inspector Lane arrives and 
arrests him for the murder. Morris manages to con- 
vince Lane of his innocence and, after gaining his re- 
lease, hurries to Nina's apartment to warn her against 
Cochran, but, before he can explain his identity, she 
mistakes him for the maniac and drives him off with 
her screams. Inspector Lane arrives, and Nina de- 
scribes the man who had frightened her, convincing 
Lane that Morris was the strangler. After the police 
leave, Cochran enters Nina's apartment and, posing 
as Morris, convinces her that he was working with the 
police and induces her to come to his hotel room. 
Morris, learning that Cochran had taken Nina to the 
hotel, rushes there only to fall into the hands of the 
police. He escapes them and, after a furious chase, 
manages to save Nina just as Cochran is about to kill 
her. The police help him to overpower the maniac. 

Edward Dein wrote the screen play, Alexis Thurn- 
Taxis produced it, and Arthur Driefuss directed it. 
the cast includes Frank Sully, Iris Adrian and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"I'll Tell the World" with Lee Tracy 
and Brenda Joyce 

(Universal, June 8; time, 61 min.) 

For audiences who are not too particular about 
story material, this breezy program comedy with 
music should prove to be entertaining. Lee Tracy, as 
a fast-talking insurance salesman, is cast in the type 
of role that brought him fame. The manner in which 
his glibness gets him into numerous predicaments 
causes the comedy. The story is rather silly, but since 
it is fast-moving, and since music and a few specialty 
numbers have been worked into the plot, it manages 
to entertain one for an hour : — 

Gifted with an ability to speak rapidly and descrip- 
tively, Lee Tracy, a brash insurance salesman, wrests 
the microphone from a radio announcer at a football 
game and broadcasts a play-by-play description of the 
contest to the listening audience. Raymond Walburn, 
president of the radio station, and June Preisser, his 
daughter, are so impressed by Tracy's glib manner 
that they send for him. Tracy's arrival at the studio 
and his constant chattering interfere with an audition 
by Brenda Joyce, a singer and student of psychology. 
Brenda, furious, berates Tracy. To make amends, 
Tarcy offers to help her get a job with the radio sta- 
tion. He gets himself into all sorts of predicaments 
while trying to advance her career, but his efforts 
meet with no success. He falls in love with Brenda 
and, with her help, becomes a "philosopher" on the 
station's "advice to the lovelorn" program. His glib 
manner of speech, coupled with Brenda's knowledge 
of psychology, makes the program sensational, and 
Walburn, in order to sign him to a contract, offers to 
make him vice-president of the company. Meanwhile 
Tracy inadvertently ruins another audition for 
Brenda, causing her to leave him. Unable to broadcast 
on the lovelorn program without Brenda's aid, Tracy 
fakes laryngitis. Brenda, feeling responsible for his 
condition, returns, only to become even more peeved 
when his voice is restored miraculously. But, before 
she can leave him again, the loquacious Tracy talks 
her into marrying him. 

Henry Blankfort wrote the screen play, Frank 
Gross produced it, and Leslie Goodwins directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



104 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



June 30, 1945 



that the success of this picture might well bring about 
a cycle of crime pictures, the ultimate result of which 
would be to give a distorted view of life in America 
to the people in foreign lands. 

Borzage knows what he is talking about, for experi- 
ence has shown that, every time a certain type of pic- 
ture has made a success, rival studios quickly put into 
preparation stories of a similar theme, in order to cash 
in on what they believed to be a new trend in the en- 
tertainment desires of the picture-going public. As a 
matter of fact, a recent issue of weekly Variety car- 
ried a report that the "grossing power of a $200,000 
budgeter, such as 'Dillinger,' which now looms as a 
$1,000,000 grosser, has 'alerted' major studios where 
37 showings of the film have already been reported 
held for production staffs in an effort to analyze the 
b.o. values. (There have been eight staff screenings at 
one studio alone)." 

Harrison's Reports has maintained for years that 
a large percentage of American pictures, particularly 
of the crime pictures, misrepresents the American na- 
tion to the peoples of foreign countries. When the 
producers adapt vicious, sordid story material for pic- 
tures, the harm caused to this country by the false 
impression of our national character created abroad 
far outweighs the monetary gain from foreign sales. 

Trem Carr says that "in the field of diplomacy . . . 
it might be best to leave that work in the hands of our 
State Department, and we in the motion picture busi- 
ness follow their recommendations, rather than try to 
set any pattern for them to follow." While diplomacy 
in this country's relations with other countries is prop- 
erly the work of our State Department, it does not 
relieve a producer of his moral obligation to use the 
utmost care in selecting material to be put into pic- 
tures, particularly when those pictures touch upon 
our Ameircan way of life. 

In point is an editorial of this paper written in 1939, 
dealing with Frank Capra's failure to exercise discre- 
tion in producing "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington." 
I said then that, "under the democratic system of our 
Government, a citizen may employ his right to express 
his opinion without molestation, so long as he does not 
violate the law. The right of the citizen to express his 
opinion freely, however, places on him certain moral 
obligations. One of such obligations, for example, is 
to use discretion if the exercise of that right should 
wound the feelings of other citizens, or if he should 
present the United States of America abroad in a bad 
light. He is not compelled to restrain himself by law; 
he must do so as a result of his ability to discern when 
his words, his criticisms, may hurt the nation itself — 
lower it in the estimation of people, abroad as well as 
at home, particularly abroad." 

As Trem Carr says, none can disagree on the power 
of the motion picture to tell a compelling story, and 
its use, both from an educational and propaganda 
standpoint, has proved most effective. We should, 
therefore, look upon our motion pictures as "ambas- 
sadors" in foreign lands — "ambassadors" bearing no 
credentials but exerting great power. That power 
should be used, not to libel and villify our own coun- 
try, but to represent America more in accordance 
with the truth. And the responsibility for the use of 
this power lies with the American producers, for it is 
through their depiction of American ways and cus- 



toms that the people of foreign countries will form 
either an adverse or a favorable opinion of the char- 
acter of the American people. 

The producers, however, should not concern them- 
selves only with the adverse effect a cycle of gangster 
pictures might have in foreign countries. They should 
remember also that crime films, when produced in 
number, despite the "crime does not pay" moral they 
expound, exert a disastrous influence upon the youth 
of our own country, for an excess of such pictures will 
turn the screen into a school of crime, undermining 
the morale of those with delinquent tendencies, and 
causing some of them to adopt the brutal, resourceful 
methods employed by the gangsters in their commis- 
sion of the crimes portrayed on the screen. 

No one knows better than the exhibitors of this 
country just how seriously the industry was affected 
by the crime pictures that were rampant in the 1930's. 
At that time the moral quality of pictures was so low 
that it brought down the unified wrath of religious and 
other organizations upon the entire industry, with the 
result that the public stayed away either from all pic- 
tures or from most of them, and kept their children 
away from them altogether. 

The exhibitors cannot now afford to experience a 
recurrence of the situation in the 1930's. And the way 
to prevent it is to lodge a protest now with the pro- 
ducer-distributor representatives, nipping in the bud 
any contemplated plans for a cycle of crime pictures. 



ALLIED OF EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA 
ENDORSES HARRISON'S REPORTS 

In an organization bulletin, dated June 18, Sidney 
E. Samuelson, general manager of the Allied Inde- 
pendent Theatre Owners of Eastern Penna., Inc., had 
this to say : 

"Recently, Abe Montague, General Sales Man- 
ager of Columbia, sent many exhibitors throughout 
the country a three-page telegram from Los Angeles. 
In it, Montague repeated the extravagant promises 
about the Columbia product. I will not comment upon 
the use of telegraph facilities for this totally unneces- 
sary purpose during war time. Obviously, this abuse 
of the overburdened communication facilities of the 
nation bothered neither Mr. Montague nor his con- 
science. 

"But I do want to direct your attention to the 
devastating analysis of Columbia's delivery perform- 
ance for the current 1944-45 season, which appeared 
in Harrison's Reports on June 9, 1945. Harrison 
points out that Columbia has released only five of its 
promised fifteen top pictures, and he emphasizes that 
it will be impossible for Columbia to release all of the 
top pictures it promised for this year. Furthermore, — - 
and this should not surprise you — Columbia is not re- 
leasing some of its top pictures, but is withholding 
them for next year. For more than twenty-five years, 
Peter Harrison has been the watch dog protecting the 
rights of the independent exhibitor and exposing the 
malpractices of the motion picture industry. 

"You are urged to carefully read this issue of Har- 
rison's Reports, and if you do not have it handy, 
drop into the office where a copy is on file. Well in- 
formed exhibitors use Harrison's Reports as a valu- 
able guide in the operation of their theatres. Are you 
a subscriber?" 



IN TWO SECTIONS— SECTION ONE 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1875. 

Harrison's Reports 



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Vol. XXVII 



SATURDAY, JULY 7, 1945 



No. 27 



DIMINISHING RETURNS 

An examination of the reports by experts in the 
financial sections of the daily newspapers leaves one 
convinced fully that the nation has passed the peak 
of its wartime prosperity, and that from now on busi' 
ness revenues will be on the decline. These reports 
are substantiated in the motion picture industry by 
the downward trend of box-office receipts throughout 
the country. In fact, only this week, the State Treas- 
urer of Ohio released figures showing that motion 
picture theatres in the state of Ohio, during the first 
five months of 1945, as compared with the first five 
months of last year, suffered a decrease in attendance 
of sixteen per cent. 

The main factor generally claimed to have caused 
this falling off of box-office receipts is, of course, the 
steady rise in unemployment pending the reconver- 
sion of war industries to peacetime production. 
Among other factors that are claimed to have had an 
effect on the box-office are the exodus of transient 
workers from towns whose populations had swelled 
abnormally; the reduced earnings of those still em- 
ployed, causing them to become thrifty and to cut 
down on their theatre attendance; and the poor qual- 
ity of many pictures, which is driving patrons away 
from the theatres. 

While each of these factors has undoubtedly had 
its share in causing a decline in patronage, a still more 
powerful one, in the opinion of this writer, is yet to 
come. How soon and to what extent is unpredictable, 
but it deserves the careful study of the thoughtful ex- 
hibitor. The factor I speak of is a reaction to natural 
causes, such as we experienced after World War I, 
when the cost of living, like water, sought its own 
level. 

During that war, particularly in the last years of 
it, the shortage of labor sent wages skyward, and the 
manufacturers and retailers, taking advantage of the 
public's bulging pocketbook, charged unheard .of 
prices for articles, not only of luxury, but also of 
necessity. As a result, the cost of living rose to an 
unprecedented high, putting labor in a position to 
demand still higher wages. Everybody's earning ca- 
pacity was abnormal, and everybody spent money 
lavishly. People lived in a fool's paradise with no 
thought given to the future. 

With the end of the war, and with the cutbacks in 
war contracts that followed, the economic state of the 
nation began a downward trend to normalcy. The 
army of unemployed increased constantly, and labor 
fought to maintain the high wages they had been 
enjoying. The manufacturers, however, faced with 
selling products to a people that had become thrift 
conscious, could not pay such high wages and, rather 



than suffer a possible loss, shut down their plants un- 
til such a time as labor saw fit to accept a wage that 
made it possible for them to manufacture products at 
a cost in conformity with the public's ability to buy. 
While this process of readjustment went on, the 
country suffered a business slump, which in turn af- 
fected the motion picture business. 

Today we find ourselves in the midst of an eco- 
nomic transition unprecedented in the history of the 
nation and of the motion picture business. I say un- 
precedented because, unlike the period that followed 
World War I, when the country laid down its arms 
and converted from a wartime economy to a peace- 
time economy, the present day finds the nation in a 
transition period that might be called one of half peace 
and half war. 

Because our country has never undergone such a 
transition period, the way ahead is uncharted, and 
even the best business experts cannot predict just what 
the future holds, for the progress of our war with 
Japan is the decisive factor in any prediction; a 
lengthy war, with its requirement of vast supplies will 
hold the national economy at a level high above nor- 
mal, while a sudden collapse of Japan, which is quite 
possible in view of the tremendous pressure now bear- 
ing down on her, will jolt the national economy seri- 
ously, though in all probability temporarily, pending 
total reconversion to civilian production. 

I do not believe that the transition period through 
which we are now passing is going to result in a seri- 
ous business slump, for, even though unemployment 
may be on the rise, most people of moderate means 
have saved sufficient money to tide them over until 
the wheels of civilian production begin to turn, pro- 
vided, of course, that their layoffs are not unduly long. 
But I do believe that, like the period following the last 
war, there will take place economic disturbances, 
which, though they will not result in a depression, will 
certainly have a decided effect on the national income 
as compared with the prosperity we have been en- 
joying for the past few years. The man on the street, 
no longer assured of a pay envelope made fat by time- 
and-one-half pay for many hours of overtime work 
each week, will find that he can no longer afford to 
pay high prices for articles of luxury; and if the prices 
of necessities are too high he will confine himself to 
bare necessities. The retailer, to regain this thrift- 
conscious citizen as a customer, will make demands 
on the wholesaler for merchandise that can be sold at 
a price within the means of his customer, and the 
wholesaler will in turn bring pressure to bear against 
the manufacturer, who will then place the issue 
squarely in the lap of his employee — the man in the 
(Continued on last page) 



106 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



July 7, 1945 



"Gangs of the Waterfront" with Robert 
Armstrong and Stephanie Bachelor 

(Republic, July 3; time, 56 min.) 
Just .i moderately entertaining melodrama of the 
gangster variety. The story is extremely far-fetched, 
but where patrons are not too exacting in their de- 
mands it should give fair satisfaction. One is held in 
considerable suspense throughout, owing to the 
danger to the hero, who, because of his resemblance 
to a notorious gang leader, impersonates the man and 
assumes leadership of his gang in an effort to help the 
police curb their activities. There is excitement in the 
closing scenes, where the gang leader returns to the 
waterfront to expose his impersonator only to he killed 
mistakenly by one of his own henchmen. The per- 
formances are fair, with Robert Armstrong playing 
a dual role. A romance has been worked into the 
plot: — 

Injured in an automobile accident, Robert Arm- 
strong, a gang leader, whose gang had been troubling 
the police, is held incommunicado in a hospital by 
William Forrest, the district attorney, who puts into 
effect a plan to gain evidence against the gang for the 
murder of Stephanie Bachelor's father, head of a 
nautical supply company. Forrest communicates with 
a taxidermist (also played by Armstrong), who bore 
an amazing resemblance to the gang leader, and in- 
duces him to impersonate Armstrong and to assume 
leadership of the gang. Familiarizing himself with 
Armstrong's habits and with the gang's activities, the 
taxidermist takes charge of the gang and succeeds in 
fooling the unsuspecting members. He holds a con- 
ference with other gang leaders under the pretense 
of organizing them, but actually gathers evidence 
against them. Meanwhile Stephanie, believing him 
to be the real gang leader, complains to the police 
that he was trying to "shake her down." Following a 
series of complications in which the taxidermist tries 
to protect Stephanie from the gangsters without 
arousing their suspicions, Martin Koslek, the gang 
leader's first lieutenant, learns of his identity. In the 
meantime, Armstrong, learning of the masquerade, 
escapes from the hospital and heads for the water- 
front to confront his impersonator. The police rush 
to the scene to protect the taxidermist and, in the 
midst of a gun battle, Koslek shoots down the real 
gang leader in the belief that he was the taxidermist. 
The other gangsters are either shot or taken into 
custody. Stephanie and the taxidermist plan to wed. 

Albert Beich wrote the screen play, and George 
Blair produced and directed it. The cast includes 
Marian Martin and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"Arson Squad" with Frank Albertson 
and Robert Armstrong 

(PRC, no release date set; time, 64 mm.) 
A fairly entertaining program melodrama. The 
plot follows a familiar pattern, but the action is fast 
and at times exciting. As indicated by the title, the 
story deals with arsonists. The spectator is held in 
fairly tense suspense throughout, as a result of the 
fact that the hero, a fire insurance investigator posing 
as an insurance salesman, is in constant danger be- 
cause of his efforts to uncover the doings of a profes- 
sional gang of arsonists. A spectacular warehouse 
fire, two murders, and a mild romance, have been 
worked into the plot. The closing scenes, where the 



hero and the police trap the arsonists in the act of set- 
ting a fire, are exciting: — 

When a woolen warehouse burns down, and when 
Byron Foulger's partner is found murdred in the 
building, Captain Robert Armstrong, of the Arson 
Squad, and Frank Albertson, an insurance investi- 
gator posing as a salesman, suspect arson and set 
about to prove it. Albertson informs the head of the 
insurance company of his suspicions and induces him 
to withhold payment of the insurance, despite the 
objections of Chester Clute, the company's chief ad- 
juster. Through Grace Gillen, Foulger's secretary, 
Albertson obtains invoices covering a woolen ship- 
ment supposedly burned in the fire, and learns that 
the w(xil had been sold by Jerry Jerome, head of a 
woolen firm. A visit to Jerome's office convinces 
Albertson that he was head of an arson ring that had 
been avoiding detection cleverly, and other evidence 
indicates to him that Jerome was in league with 
Foulger in the warehouse fire. Shortly after, Arm- 
strong informs Albertson that a new warehouse had 
taken out a $75,000 insurance policy on a woolen 
shipment from Jerome. Albertson, posing as a fire 
inspector, visits the warehouse, copies the bolt num- 
bers on the woolens, and discovers that they corre- 
spond to the invoice numbers on the shipment sup- 
posedly burned in Foulger's warehouse. Aided by 
Armstrong's Arson Squad, Albertson allows Jerome's 
gang to set the stage for the fire, then captures them 
as they set it off. Jerome, to save his own neck, reveals 
that Clute, the insurance company's adjuster, had 
been the arson ring's mastermind. 

Arthur St. Claire wrote the screen play, Arthur 
Alexander produced it, and Lew Landers directed it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"White Pongo" with Richard Fraser 
and Maris Wrixon 

(PRC, no release date set; time, 72 min.) 
Undiscnminating audiences may find enough ex- 
citement in this jungle melodrama to satisfy them, 
but others will probably find it tiresome on the whole, 
for not only is the story trite, implausible, and long- 
drawn out, but also the direction and acting is ama- 
teurish. The action centers around a search for a 
huge white gorilla, the hybrid product of a scientific 
experiment, and, for added interest, the plot includes 
a love triangle, the machinations of an unscrupulous 
guide, and an exciting jungle battle between two 
huge gorillas, the Hollywood variety, of course. One 
follows the proceedings restlessly, occasionally laugh- 
ing where no laughter was intended. Liberal use has 
been made of jungle clips to pad out the thin plot. 
While the picture rates as no better than average pro- 
gram fare, it is the sort that lends itself to exploita- 
tion : — 

Through a white man who had escaped from an 
African tribe, Lionel Royce, an anthropologist, and 
Gordon Richards, a British scientist, learn of a white 
gorilla that had been created by a missing scientist, 
using human spermatoza, Richard, accompanied by 
Maris Wrixon, his daughter, and by Michael Dyne, 
his secretary, had organized a safari to explore the 
Congo, but he changes his mind and decides to search 
for the white gorilla. En route, bitterness develops 
in the safari because of Dyne's jealousy over Maris' 
interest in Richard Fraser, a rifleman. Meanwhile, un- 
known to the party, the white gorilla had been trail- 
ing them, intent upon capturing Mans, with whom 



July 7, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



107 



he was fascinated. Al Eben, the safari's guide, a 
murderous renegade, notices Dyne's jealousy over 
Maris and grasps the opportunity to enlist his aid in 
a plan to seize the parties supplies and guns so that 
they could embark on their own in search of a fabu- 
lous gold field. Dyne agrees when Eben permits him 
to take Maris along against her will. The two men 
overpower the others and, leaving them bound, take 
control of the safari and start on their search. En 
route, Dyne is murdered by Eben, who in turn is 
killed by the white gorilla, which captures Maris. 
Meanwhile Fraser frees himself and the others from 
their bounds and reveals himself to be an agent of the 
Rhodesian Secret Service, explaining that he had 
joined the safari to capture Eben. They set out in 
search of Maris, and trail her to the gorilla's cave, 
where they arrive in time to save her and to capture 
the beast for scientific study. 

Raymond L. Schrock wrote the screen play, Sig- 
mund Neufeld produced it, and Sam Newfield di' 
rected it. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"You Came Along" with Lizabeth Scott 
and Robert Cummings 

(Paramount, Sept. 14; time, 103 min.) 

This is a good entertainment, with plentiful 
comedy, and with emotional appeal in many of the 
situations; it should be received well by the rank and 
file, for it is rich in human interest, and there is a 
a certain breeziness about it that keeps the interest 
alive. The story revolves around three aviators, all 
wounded heroes, who are assigned to a nation-wide 
bond-selling tour under the guidance of a pretty 
young lady, a Treasury representative. The heart- 
warming part of the picture is the friendship between 
the three men. Their affection, understanding, and 
concern for each other, despite their outward flippant 
attitude, is inspiring. Most of the action is confined 
to their gay exploits and to their good-natured vying 
for the attentions of Lizabeth Scott, their guide. Miss 
Scott, a newcomer, has an arresting personality, and 
her acting is skillful. Her romance with Robert Cum- 
mings, and her subsequent marriage to him, despite 
her knowledge that his days were numbered because 
of an incurable blood disease, furnish some of the 
story's gayest yet tenderest moments.' Aside from the 
gayety, enough is said by the different characters to 
give one an insight of the influence of war on fighting 
men, and of what each one hopes to return to : — 

Assigned to a nation-wide bond-selling tour, Rob- 
ert Cummings, Don Defore, and Charles Drake, 
spend every free moment away from their duties to 
go out on dates. Their gay idiosyncrasies keep Liza- 
beth on edge, but she copes with them good-naturedly. 
As the tour progresses, Lizabeth and Cummings fall 
in love, but she discovers that he was suffering from 
a blood disease, from which there was no recovery. 
Lizabeth finds herself faced with a desire to marry a 
man whose death was imminent, while Cummings, 
aware that his days were limited, felt that marriage 
would be unfair to her. Their love, however, proves 
so strong that they marry immediately. Their wed- 
ding is followed by two months of idyllic contentment 
and happiness, until one day Cummings is ordered to 
a hospital to live out his remaining days. Pretending 
that he had been ordered overseas, Cummings bids 
goodbye to his wife and pals. All, however, sensed 
that they would not see him again, and, within a few 



weeks, the War Department advises Lizabeth of his 
death. She faces the future unafraid, satisfied that 
she and Cummings had shared a brief but beautiful 
period. 

Robert Smith and Ayn Rand wrote the screen 
play, Hal Wallis produced it, and John Farrow di- 
rected it. The cast includes Julie Bishop, Kim Hunter, 
Helen Forrest, Franklin Pangborn and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 

"The Cheaters" with Joseph Shildkraut, 
Ona Munson and Eugene Pallette 

(Republic, no release date set; time, 87 min.) 

A fairly good program entertainment. It is an ap- 
pealing comedy-drama, with a heart-warming, senti- 
mental quality, and with good comedy bits. The pro- 
duction values are good, and the direction and acting 
impressive, particularly the performance of Joseph 
Shildkraut, as a faded matinee idol, who retains his 
poise, despite his weakness for drink. The story, which 
deals with the eventual regeneration of a grasping, 
selfish family on the verge of financial ruin, is devel- 
oped naturally, and some parts of it are inspiring. The 
manner in which they are made ashamed of their 
selfishness and greed, and in which they are trans- 
formed into sincere, human people, leaves one with 
a warm feeling: — 

On the verge of financial ruin because of the ex- 
travagance of his wife (Billie Burke) , his daughters 
(Ruth Terry and Ann Gillis), his son (David Holt), 
and his lazy brother-in-law (Raymond Walburn), 
Eugene Pallette awaits the momentary death of a rich 
uncle, whose fortune he hoped to inherit. While the 
family prepares for the Christmas holidays, Pallette, 
to help Ruth impress her boy-friend, Robert Living- 
ston, a Boston socialite, permits her to invite a "char- 
ity case" to spend Christmas with the family. Shild- 
kraut, who had become a drinking, philosophical 
cynic, is brought to the house. Shortly after his ar- 
rival, the uncle dies, leaving $5,000,000 to Ona Mun- 
son, an unemployed actress, whom he had known as 
a child. The will stipulated that the money revert to 
Pallette if Ona could not be found within a reason- 
able time. With typical selfishness, Pallette and the 
family decide to invite the girl to their home and, 
through trickery, keep her ignorant of her good for- 
tune until the time for her search expires. Informed 
by the family that she was a long-lost cousin, Ona, 
penniless, grasps the opportunity of spending a com- 
fortable, well-fed holiday with them. Her honesty, 
sincerity, and' warm-heartedness soon endear Ona to 
all who were trying to victimize her. On Christmas 
Eve, Shildkraut, who had fallen in love with Ona, 
i and who was aware of the family's scheme to de- 
fraud her, impresses the family with their selfishness 
and greed by reciting Dicken's "Christmas Carol" 
and likening Pallette to "Scrooge." Ona, unaware of 
Shildkraut's purpose, confesses that she was not the 
family's cousin, and that she was enjoying their hos- 
pitality under false pretenses. Shildkraut's symbolic 
story, and Ona's genuine gesture, makes the family 
so remorseful that they confess to Ona their scheme. 
Flabbergasted but delighted, Ona promises them half 
the fortune, and convinces Shildkraut that, with her, 
his life will again be worth living. 

Frances Hyland wrote the screen play, and Joseph 
Kane produced and directed it. The cast includes 
Robert Grieg, St. Luke's Choristers and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



108 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



July 7, 1945 



street. Thus does the cost of living find its own level, 
but in the interim, business is bound to suffer. 

In our business, the retailer is the exhibitor, the 
wholesaler is the distributor, and the manufacturer is 
the producer. 

It would be well for every exhibitor to reconcile 
himself to the fact that, for some time to come, he will 
not experience the prosperity of the past few years, 
and he should adjust his plans accordingly. 

Recent editorials in this paper have cautioned you 
as to the prices you should pay for the coming season's 
product lest you find yourself burdened with pictures, 
the revenue of which will not be commensurate with 
the crushing rentals paid. Those of you who will heed 
this warning will be better able to weather any pos- 
sible storm, but those of you who are so drunk with 
prosperity that this counsel will not make. upon you 
the slightest impression may find yourselves reaping 
the consequences of your folly. 

Harrison's Reports is not a spreader of gloom. 
It is an exponent of caution, and its aim is to study 
conditions as they arc and to present them to you, so 
that you may be guided accordingly in the operation 
of your theatres. 

From time to time the trade papers give space to 
the optimistic talk of the producer-distributor repre- 
sentatives about what the future holds. Their opti- 
mism is understandable; they have film to sell. Don't 
let them lull you into a false sense of security by point- 
ing out that last year's business was one of the best 
the industry has ever known and that the coming year 
will be even better. Present conditions indicate that 
that the future will not be so rosy, and the only way 
for you to cope with it is to take practical economic 
measures now. 

Demand that your film rentals come down! 



CONSISTENT COLUMBIA 

According to the daily trade papers, Columbia 
has announced that its annual sales drive, the "Mon- 
tague Twentieth Anniversary Campaign," which 
was originally scheduled to run from March 16 to 
June 28, has been extended for an additional two 
months, and will now end on August 30. 

The company's purpose in extending the drive is to 
include in the campaign several important features, 
among which are "A Thousand and One Nights'' and 
"Over 21." 

From the way this news item has been written up 
in the papers, one who was not acquainted with the 
facts might get the impression that Columbia pro- 
longed the drive to include "A Thousand and One 
Nights" and "Over 21" as something extra. 

Lest some of you gain that impression, let me re- 
mind you that these two productions were included 
in the original announcement of the drive, and that 
both were promised for delivery by June 28. Being 
consistent, however, Columbia failed to deliver as 
promised. 

But the reason for this non-delivery is not too diffi- 
cult to understand; these two pictures are the only 
important productions Columbia has on hand, and 
if both were delivered by June 28 the company 
would have found itself with only a few minor pic- 
tures for delivery in July and August, thus defeating 
its usual purpose of ending a season in a blaze of 
glory, in the hope that its customers would forget the 
injustices they suffered during the preceding months. 



A PLEA IN REVERSE 

A recent issue of the Hollywood Reporter states 
that "Three thousand features, made during the past 
five years, are now ready for distribution in the 
countries of Europe from which they were barred 
either through Nazi action or by exigencies of war. 
The returns on the huge backlog will amount to 
millions of dollars of revenue over a period of years, 
and may be used as a 'cushion' against any possible 
drop in domestic grosses, or, should post war cur- 
rency blockings take place in foreign lands, be uti- 
lized for production, distribution, and exhibition in 
those countries." 

Most of you, I am sure, will remember when, in 
1939, the producers, in order to overcome their an- 
ticipated loss of revenue from war-torn Europe, sug- 
gested that the American exhibitors pay higher film 
rentals, so that they (the producers) could continue 
the production of meritorious quality films. Their 
anxiety, however, proved to be premature, for their 
earnings during the past five years, even in foreign 
countries, have exceeded by far their fondest dreams. 

Now they find themselves with approximately 
three thousand features from which they have already 
realized fabulous profits, and from which they expect 
to derive more millions of dollars in the foreign mar- 
kets. By the same process of reasoning that they used 
when they pleaded with the exhibitors for help in 
1939, will the producer-distributors now offer to re- 
flect these millions of dollars of potential profits in 
reduced rentals to the American exhibitors? 

The reopening of the foreign markets gives the 
distributors a chance to be not only fair, but also con- 
sistent. 



AN UNALLURING ALLURE 

Film Daily reports that the Florida legislature, • 
which for many years has made attempts to lure mo- 
tion picture producers to its state, has authorized the 
appointment of a Motion Picture Industry Commit- 
tee to "take such steps as are deemed advisable to at- 
tract the industry." 

The resolution held that "Florida offers many nat- 
ural advantages to the motion picture industry not 
available in other sections of the nation," and it listed 
among the advantages tropical scenery, climate, access 
to large centers of population, and proximity to the 
latin American countries of Central and South Amer- 
ica and to the islands of the South Seas. 

These advantages are indeed alluring, but what do 
the Florida legislators intend to do with their mosqui- 
tos and gnats if they should induce the producers to 
try production in Florida? And what about the sum- 
mer heat? 

The state of Florida should centre its attention on 
some other industry, and should leave motion picture 
production to Hollywood. 



ORDER YOUR MISSING COPIES 

Look over your files and if you find the copy of any 
issue missing, order a duplicate copy at once; it will 
be supplied to you free of charge. 

You cannot know when the very copy missing will 
be the one you'll need; so why not go over your files 
now? 



IN TWO SECTIONS— SECTION TWO 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



Vol. XXVII 


NEW YORK, SATURDAY, JULY 7, 1945 


No. 27 


(Semi-Annual Index — First Half of 1945) 



Titles of Pictures ' Reviewed on Page 

Affairs of Susan, The — Paramount (109 min.) 50 

Along Came Jones— RKO (90 min.) 95 

Back to Bataan— RKO (95 min.) 86 

Bedside Manner — United Artists (79 min.) 95 

Bell for Adano, A— 20th Century-Fox ( 104 min.) 99 

Bells of Rosanta — Republic (68 min.) not reviewed 

Betrayal from the East — RKO (82 min.) 27 

Bewitched— MGM (65 min.) 99 

Beyond the Pecos — Universal (59 min.) not reviewed 

Big Bonanza, The — Republic (69 min.) 6 

Big Show-Off, The— Republic (70 min.) 10 

Blonde from Brooklyn — Columbia (65 min.) 82 

Blonde Ransom — Universal (68 min.) 86 

Blood on the Sun — United Artists (94 min.) 67 

Body Snatcher, The— RKO (78 min.) 32 

Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion — Columbia 

(67 min.) 62 

Boston Blackie's Rendezvous- — Columbia (64 min.) . . . 103 

Brewster's Millions- — United Artists (79 min.) 42 

Brighton Strangler, The— RKO (67 min.) 70 

Bring on the Girls — Paramount (92 min.) 26 

Bullfighters, The— 20th Century-Fox (61 min.) 60 

Captain Eddie — 20th Century-Fox (107 min.) 98 

Castle of Crimes— PRC (60 min.) 2 

Chicago Kid, The — Republic (68 min.) 22 

China Sky— RKO (78 min.) 62 

China's Little Devils — Monogram (74 min.) 55 

Circumstantial Evidence — 20th Century-Fox (68 min.) . 27 
Cisco Kid Returns, The — Monogram (64 m.) .not reviewed 

Clock, The— MGM (90 min.) 46 

Colonel Blimp — United Artists (148 min.) 47 

Conflict— Warner Bros. (86 min.) 95 

Corn is Green, The — Warner Bros. (114 min.) 51 

Corpus Christi Bandits — Republic (55 min.) . .not reviewed 

Counter- Attack — Columbia (90 min.) 56 

Crime Doctor's Courage, The — Columbia (70 min.) ... 36 

Crime, Inc.— PRC (75 min.) 28 

Delightfully Dangerous — United Artists (93 min.) .... 34 

Diamond Horseshoe — 20th Century-Fox (104 min.) ... 59 

Dillinger, John — Monogram (71 min.) 42 

Divorce- — Monogram (72 min.) 91 

Docks of New York — Monogram (62 min.) 36 

Don Juan Quilligan — 20th Century-Fox (75 min.) .... 91 

Eadie Was a Lady — Columbia (67 min.) 11 

Earl Carroll Vanities — Republic (91 min.) 39 

Enchanted Cottage, The— RKO (92 min.) 27 

Enemy of the Law — PRC (56 m.) not reviewed 

Escape in the Desert — Warner Bros. (79 min.) 66 

Escape in the Fog — Columbia (63 min.) 42 

Eve Knew Her Apples — Columbia (64 min.) 51 

Fashion Model — Monogram (61 min.) 38 

Fighting Guardsman, The — Columbia (84 min.) 70 

Flame of the Barbary Coast — Republic (91 min.) 63 

Fog Island— PRC (70 min.) 43 

Forever Yours — Monogram (see "They Shall Have 

Faith") 2 

Frisco Sal — Universal (94 min.) 26 

Frozen Ghost, The — Universal (61 min.) 83 

Gangsters' Den — PRC (55 m.) not reviewed 

G.I. Honeymoon — Monogram (70 min.) 50 

God is My Co-Pilot — Warner Bros. (90 min.) 31 

Great Flamarion, The — Republic (78 min.) 10 

Great John L, The — United Artists (96 min.) 91 

Great Stage Coach Robbery, The — Republic 

(56 min.) not reviewed 

Grissley's Millions — Republic (72 min.) 6 

Gun Smoke — Monogram (59 min.) not reviewed 

Guy, a Gal and a Pal, A — Columbia (61 min.) 74 



Hangover Square — 20th Century-Fox (77 min.) 10 

Having Wonderful Crime— RKO (70 min.) 26 

Her Lucky Night — Universal (63 min.) 28 

Here Come the Co-Eds — Universal (87 min.) 19 

High Powered — Paramount (60 min.) 30 

His Brother's Ghost — PRC (56 min.) not reviewed 

Hitchhike to Happiness — Republic (72 min.) 67 

Hollywood and Vine— PRC (58 min.) 43 

Honeymoon Ahead — Universal (59 min.) 78 

Horn Blows at Midnight, The— Warner Bros. 

(78 min.) 56 

Hotel Berlin — Warner Bros. (98 min.) 34 

House of Fear, The — Universal (68 min.) 46 

Identity Unknown — Republic (71 min.) 55 

I'll Remember April — Universal (63 min.) 58 

I'll Tell the World— Universal ( 62 min.) 103 

I Love a Mystery — Columbia (69 min.) 18 

Incendiary Blonde — Paramount (113 min.) 94 

In Old New Mexico- — Monogram (62 min.) . .not reviewed 

It's A Pleasure— RKO (90 min.) 36 

It's in the Bag — United Artists (87 min.) 23 

Jade Mask, The — Monogram (66 min.) 14 

Jungle Captive — Universal (63 min.) 96 

Junior Miss — 20th Century-Fox (94 min.) 94 

Keep Your Powder Dry— MGM (93 min.) 27 

Kid Sister, The— PRC (55 min.) 23 

Lady Confesses, The— PRC (65 min.) 56 

Last Gangster, The — 20th Century-Fox (see 

"Roger Touhy, Gangster") 1944 86 

Leave it to Blondie — Columbia (73 min.) 22 

Let's Go Steady — Columbia (60 min.) 6 

Lone Texas Ranger — Republic ( 56 min.) not reviewed 

Man Called Sullivan, A — United Artists 

(see, "The Great John, L") 91 

Man from Oklahoma — Republic (68 min.) . . .not reviewed 

Man Who Walked Alone, The— PRC (73 min.) 47 

Marked for Murder — PRC (58 m.) not reviewed 

Marked Man, The — Columbia (see "Mark of the 

Whistler") 1944 178 

Medal for Benny, A — Paramount (77 min.) 59 

Midnight Manhunt — Paramount (See "One Exciting 

Night") 96 

Missing Corpse, The— PRC (62 min.) 71 

Molly and Me — 20th Century-Fox (76 min.) 38 

Mr. Emmanuel — United Artists (92 min.) 7 

Muggs Rides Again — Monogram (64 min.) 66 

Murder, He Says — Paramount (91 min.) 60 

Naughty Nineties, The — Universal (76 min.) 99 

Navajo Trail— Monogram (55 m.) not reviewed 

Nob Hill— 20th Century-Fox (95 min.) 87 

Objective Burma — Warner Bros. (142 min.) 14 

One Exciting Night — Paramount (63 min.) 96 

Oregon Trail — Republic (56 min.) not reviewed 

Out of this World — Paramount (96 min.) 90 

Pan-Americana — RKO (85 min.) 30 

Pass to Romance — Universal (sec "Hi" Beautiful") 

1944 186 

Patrick the Great — Universal (88 min.) 64 

Penthouse Rhythm — Universal (60 min.) 78 

Phantom of 42nd Street— PRC (58 min.) 54 

Phantom Speaks, The — Republic (68 min.) 64 

Picture of Dorian Gray, The — MGM ( 1 10 min.) 30 

Pillow to Post — Warner Bros. (92 min.) 79 

Power of the Whistler, The — Columbia (67 min.) .... 50 
Renegades of the Rio Grande — Universal 

(57 min.) not reviewed 

Return of the Durango Kid — Columbia 

(58 min.) not reviewed 



7/7 J ijT 

HARRISON'S REPORTS Index -- First Half of 1945, Page B 



Rhapsody in Blue — -Warner Bros. (139 min.) 102 

Rockin' in the Rockies — Columbia (67 min.). .not reviewed 

Rogues Gallery— PRC (58 min.) 3 

Rough Ridin' Justice — Columbia (58 m.) . . . .not reviewed 

Roughly Speaking — Warner Bros. ( 128 min.) 18 

Rough, Tough and Ready- — Columbia (66^/2 min.) .... 38 

Royal Scandal, A — 20th Century-Fox (94 min.) 46 

Sage Brush Heroes — Columbia (54 m.) not reviewed 

Salome, Where She Danced — Universal (90 min.). ... 59 

Salty O'Rourke — Paramount (97 min.) 31 

Santc Fe Saddle Mates — Republic (56 min.) . .not reviewed 

Scared Stiff — Paramount (63 min.) 60 

Scarlet Clue, The — Monogram (64 min.) 55 

See My Lawyer — Universal (67 min.) 30 

Sergeant Mike — Columbia (60 nun.) 22 

Shadows of Death — PRC (56 min.) not reviewed 

She Get's Her Man — Universal (74 min.) 7 

Sheriff of Cimarron — Republic (55 m.) not reviewed 

She's a Sweetheart — Columbia (69 min.) 35 

Silver Fleet, The— PRC (77 min.) 54 

Sing Me a Song of Texas — Columbia (66 m.) . not reviewed 

Song for Miss Julie, A — Republic (70 min.) 32 

Son of Lassie — MGM (100 min.) 63 

Song of the Sarong — Universal (63 min.) 58 

Song to Remember, A — Columbia (113 min.) 11 

Southerner, The — United Artists (91 min.) 71 

Spell of Amy Nugent, The— PRC (60 min.) 34 

Springtime in Texas — Monogram (57 min.) . .not reviewed 

Steppin' in Society — Republic (72 min.) 90 

Story of G.I. Joe — United Artists (109 min.) 98 

Strange Illusion— PRC (86 min.) 31 

Stranger from Sante Fe — Monogram (53 m.) . not reviewed 

Sudan — Universal (76 min.) 39 

Swing Out, Sister — Universal (60 min.) 70 

Ten Cents a Dance — Columbia (60 min.) 74 

That's the Spirit — Universal (92 min.) 78 

There Goes Kelly- — Monogram (61 min.) 35 

They Arc Guilty — Monogram (see "Are These 

Our Parents") 1944 99 

They Shall Have Faith — Monogram (83 min.) 2 

This Man's Navy— MGM (100 min.) 3 

Thoroughbreds — Republic (55 min.) 14 

Those Endearing Young Charms — RKO (82 min.) .... 62 
Thousand and One Nights, A — Columbia (92 min.) ... 94 

Three in the Saddle — PRC (60 min.) not reviewed 

Thrill of a Romance— MGM (102 min.) 82 

Thunderhead — Son of Flicka — 20th Century-Fox 

(78 min.) 19 

Tonight and Every Night — Columbia (92 min.) 15 

Topeka Terror, The — Republic (55 min.) . . . .not reviewed 
Trail of Kit Carson — Republic (56 min.) . . . .not reviewed 
Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A — 20th Century-Fox 

(128 min.) 15 

Trouble Chasers — Monogram (63 min.) 79 

Twice Blessed— MGM (76 min.) 87 

Two O'Clock Courage— RKO (66 min.) 54 

Under the Clock— MGM (see "The Clock") 46 

Under Western Skies — Universal (57 min.) 2 

Unseen, The — Paramount (79 min.) 32 

Utah — Republic (78 m.) not reviewed 

Valley of Decision, The— MGM (118 min.) 58 

Vampire's Ghost, The — Republic (59 min.) 64 

Way Ahead, The— 20th Century-Fox (106 min.) 86 

West of the Pecos— RKO (66 min.) 92 

What a Blonde— RKO (71 min.) 18 

Where Do We Go from Here? — 20th Century-Fox 

(77 min.) 82 

Why Girls Leave Home— PRC (68 min.) 102 

Within these Walls— 20th Century-Fox (71 min.) 90 

Without Love— MGM (111 min.) 47 

Woman in Green, The — Universal (68 min.) 98 

Wonder Man— RKO (96 min.) 66 

Youth on Trial — Columbia (60 min.) 35 

Zombies on Broadway — RKO (67 min.) 63 



RELEASE SCHEDULE FOR FEATURES 

Columbia Features 

(729 Seventh Ave., Hew Yor\ 19, H T.) 

6037 Escape in the Fog — Foch- Wright Apr. 5 

6026 Eve Knew Her Apples — Miller-Wright Apr. 12 

6222 Rockin' in the Rockies — Stooges-Hughes 

(67 m.) Apr. 17 

6023 Power of the Whistler — Dix-Carter Apr. 19 



6206 Return of the Rurango Kid — Starrett (58 m.) Apr. 19 

6006 Counter-Attack — Muni-Chapman Apr. 26 

6031 Boston Blackie Booked on Suspicion— Morris. May 10 

6207 Both Barrels Blazing — Charles Starrett 

(57 m.) May 17 

6010 The Fighting Guardsman — Parker-Louise. . . .May 24 

6029 Ten Cents a Dance — Frazee-Lloyd June 7 

6223 Rhythm Round-Up — Western musical June 7 

6036 Blonde from Brooklyn — Stanton-Merrick. . .June 21 

6030 Boston Blackie's Rendezvous — Morris July 5 

6005 A Thousand and One Nights— Wilde-Keyes. July 12 

You Can't Do Without Love — Lynn-Stewart. July 28 
The Gay Senorita — Falkenburg-Cochran . . . .Aug. 9 

Rustlers of the Badlands — Starrett Aug. 16 

Over 21 — Dunne-Knox-Coburn Aug. 23 

Special 

A Song to Remember — Muni-Oberon Mar. 1 

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Features 

(1540 Broadway, Hew Tor\ 19, H T.) 
Block 1 1 

522 Without Love — Hepburn-Tracy May 

523 Gentle Annie — Craig-Reed May 

524 The Clock— Garland-Walker May 

525 The Picture of Dorian Gray — 

Sanders-Hatfield June 

526 Son of Lassie — Lawford-Crisp June 

Block 12 

528 Thrill of a Romance — Johnson-Williams July 

529 Twice Blessed— Lee and Lynn Wilde July 

530 Bewitched — Thaxter-Gwenn July 

SpeciaU 

500 Dragon Seed — Hepburn-Huston Aug. '44 

5 1 1 Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo — Tracy-Johnson . . January 

512 Meet Me in St. Louis — Garland-O'Brien January 

521 National Velvet — Rooney-Taylor April 

527 Valley of Decision — Garson-Peck June 

Monogram Features 

(630 Hinth Ave., Hew York 19, H T.) 

406 G. L Honeymoon — Storm-Cookson Apr. 6 

418 The Scarlet Clue — Sidney Toler May 5 

430 In Old New Mexico — Renaldo (62 min.) May 15 

462 Springtime in Texas — Wakely (57 min.). . . .June 2 

424 Trouble Chasers — Howard-Gilbert June 2 

451 Flame of the West — Brown-Woodbury (70m.) June 9 

411 Muggs Rides Again — East Side Kids June 16 

405 China's Little Devils— Carey-Kelly (re.) July 14 

Divorce — Francis Cabot Not set 

412 Come Out Fighting — East Side Kids Not set 

456 Stranger from Sante Fe — J. M. Brown (53 m.) .July 21 

Saddle Serenade — Wakely July 28 

Paramount Features 

(1501 Broadway, Hew York 18, H Y.) 
Block 5 

4421 Affairs of Susan — Fontaine-Brent May 25 

4422 Murder, He Says — MacMurray-Walker . . . .June 8 

4423 Scared Stiff — Haley-Savage June 22 

4424 A Medal for Benny — Lamour-DeCordova. . .June 29 

Block 6 

4426 Out of this World — Bracken-Lynn July 13 

4427 Midnight Manhunt — Gargan-Savage 

(formerly "One Exciting Night") July 27 

4428 You Came Along — Scott-Cummings Sept. 14 

Special 

4431 Incendiary Blonde — Hutton-De Cordova. .. Aug. 3 1 

Reissues 

4432 Sign of the Cross — Colbert-March. .No nat'l rel. date 

4433 Northwest Mounted Police — Cooper-Carroll. Aug. 26 

4434 This Gun for Hire — Ladd-Lake Aug. 26 

(End of 1944-45 Season) 

PRC Pictures, Inc. Features 

(625 Madison Ave., Hew Yor\ 22, H Y.) 
502 Crime, Inc. — Tilton-Neal Apr. 15 

558 Shadows of Death — Buster Crabbe (56 m.) . .Apr. 19 
515 Hollywood Vine — Ellison-McKay Apr. 25 

521 Phantom of 42nd St. — O'Brien-Aldridge. . . .May 2 
561 Enemy of the Law — Texas Rangers (56 m.) . .May 7 

522 The Lady Confesses — Hughes-Beaumont . . . .May 16 
524 The Missing Corpse — Bromberg-Jenks June 1 

559 Gangsters' Den — Buster Crabbe (55 m.) June 14 

The Silver Fleet — English cast June 15 



'/HARRISON'S REPORTS Index -- First Half of 1945, Page C 



562 Three in the Saddle — Texas Rangers (60 m.) . .June 29 

Stagecoach Outlaws — Crabbe Aug. 17 

Arson Squad — -Albertson-Armstrong Sept. 11 

Dangerous Intruder — Arnt-Borg Sept. 21 

Republic Features 

(1790 Broadway, Hew Yor\ 19, H- Y.) 

414 Identity Unknown — Arlen- Walker Apr. 2 

413 Earl Carroll Vanities — O'Keefe-Moore Apr. 5 

465 Corpus Christi Bandits — Lane-Watts (55 m.).Apr. 20 

433 The Phantom Speaks — Arlen-Ridges May 10 

3318 Lone Texas Ranger — Elliott-Blake (56 m.) . .May 20 

434 The Vampire's Ghost — Abbott-Stewart May 21 

416 Three's a Crowd — Blake-Gordon May 23 

415 Flame of the Barbary Coast — Wayne-Dvorak. May 28 

455 Sante Fe Saddle Mates — Carson-Stirling 

(56 m.) June 2 

420 A Sporting Chance — Randolph-O'Malley. . . . June 4 

442 Bells of Rosarita — Roy Rogers (68 m.) June 19 

417 The Chicago Kid— Barry-Roberts June 29 

422 Gangs of the Waterfront — Armstrong- 

Bachelor July 3 

423 Road to Alcatraz — Lowery-Storey July 10 

466 Trail of Kit Carson — Lane-London (56 min.). July 11 

456 Oregon Trail — Carson-Stewart (56 min.). . . .July 14 
419 Hitchhike to Happiness — Pearce-Evans July 16 

424 Jealousy — Loder-Randolph July 23 

418 Steppin' in Society — Horton-George July 29 

443 Man from Oklahoma — Roy Rogers (68 min.) .Aug. 1 

RKO Features 

(1270 Sixth Ave., Hew Tor\ 20, H- Y.) 

(No national release dates) 
Block 4 

516 Zombies on Broadway — Brown-Carney 

517 The Body Snatcher— Karloff-Daniel 

518 Tarzan and the Amazons — Weissmuller 

519 China Sky— Scott- Warrick 

520 Those Endearing Young Charms — Young-Day 

Block 5 

521 Two O'Clock Courage — -Conway-Rutherford 

522 The Brighton Strangler — Loder-Duprez : 

523 Back to Bataan — Wayne-Quinn 

524 West of the Pecos — Mitchum-Hale 

(N.ote: "George White's Scandals," originally listed in 
Bloc\ 5, has been withdrawn.) 

Specials 

551 The Princess and the Pirate — Bob Hope 

581 Casanova Brown — Cooper-Wright 

582 Woman in the Window — Bennett-Robinson 

583 Belle of the Yukon — Scott-Lee 

584 It's a Pleasure — Henie-O'Shea 

591 The Three Caballeros — Disney 

552 Wonder Man — Kaye-Mayo 

1945-46 Season 

Specials 

681 Along Came Jones — Cooper-Young 

Twentieth Century-Fox Features 

(444 W. 56th St., Hew Tor\ 19, H- T.) 

520 The Song of Bernadette — Jennifer Jones April 

521 A Royal Scandal — Bankhead-Eythe April 

522 Molly and Me— Woolley-Fields April 

524 Diamond Horseshoe — Grable-Haymes May 

525 The Bullfighters — Laurel 6? Hardy May 

526 Where Do We Go from Here — 

MacMurray-Leslie June 

527 Don Juan Quilligan — Bendix-Blondell June 

523 Call of theWild — Gable-Young (reissue) June 

528 Within these Walls — Mitchell-Anderson July 

529 Nob Hill— Raft-Blaine July 

(End of 1944-45 Season) 
Beginning of 1945-46 Season 
601, A Bell for Adano — Hodiak-Tierney Aug. 

602 Wilson-Knox-Fitzgerald (general release) Aug. 

603 Junior Miss — Garner-Joslyn Aug. 

United Artists Features 

(729 Seventh Ave.. Hew Yor\ 19, H- Y.) 

Brewster's Millions — O'Keefe-Walker Apr. 7 

It's in the Bag — Fred Allen Apr. 21 

Colonel Blimp — English cast May 4 

The Great John L — McLure-Darnell (re.) June 29 

Story of G.I. Joe — Meredith-Mitchum July 13 

Guest Wife — Colbert-Ameche July 27 



The Southerner — Scott-Field (formerly "Hold 

Autumn in Your Hand") (re.) Aug. 10 

Captain Kidd — Laughton-Scott Aug. 24 

The Outlaw — Russell-Huston Aug. 24 

Paris-Underground — Bennett-Fields Sept. 14 

Spellbound — Bergman-Peck Sept. 28 

Universal Features 

(1270 Sixth Ave., Hew Yor\ 20, H- Y.) 

9027 I'll Remember April — Jean-Grant Apr. 13 

9040 Song of the Sarong — Gargan-Kelly Apr. 20 

9073 Salome— Where She Danced— DeCarlo- 

Bruce Apr. 27 

9083 Beyond the Pecos — Rod Cameron (59 m.) . .Apr. 27 
9011 Patrick the Great — O'Connor-Ryan May 4 

9028 Honeymoon Ahead — Jones-McDonald May 11 

9033 Swing out Sister — Cameron-Treacher May 18 

9016 See My Lawyer— Olsen fe? Johnson May 25 

That's the Spirit — Oakie-Ryan (re.) June 1 

9084 Renegades of the Rio Grande — Rod Cameron 

(57 min.) June 1 

9041 I'll Tell the World— Tracy-Preisser June 8 

9042 Blonde Ransom— Grey-Cook (re.) June 15 

9043 Penthouse Rhythm — Collier-Grant June 22 

9032 The Frozen Ghost — Chaney- Ankers June 29 

9038 Jungle Captive — Kruger-Ward June 29 

9003 The Naughty Nineties — Abbott ii Costello. .July 6 

Imitation of Life — Colbert (re.) June 15 

East Side of Heaven — Crosby (re.) June 15 

On Stage Everybody — Oakie-Ryan July 13 

9044 The Beautiful Cheat — Granville-Beery, Jr July 20 

The Woman in Green — Rathbone-Bruce . . . .July 27 
Uncle Harry — Sanders-Raines Aug. 3 

9045 Easy to Look At — Jean-Grant Aug. 10 

Lady on a Train — Deanna Durbin Aug. 17 

Warner Bros. Features 

(321 W. 44th St., Hew Tor\ 18, H- Y.) 

414 God is My Co-Pilot — Morgan-Massey Apr. 7 

415 The Horn Blows at Midnight — Jack Benny. . .Apr. 28 

416 Escape in the Desert — Dorn-Dantine May 19 

417 Pillow to Post — Lupino-Prince June 9 

418 Conflict — Bogart-Smith June 30 

419 The Corn is Green — Davis-Dall July 21 

420 Christmas in Connecticut — Stanwyck-Morgan. Aug. 11 



SHORT SUBJECT RELEASE SCHEDULE 

Columbia — One Reel 

6752 The Egg Yegg— Fox 6? Crow CJ]/ 2 m.) May 4 

6663 Victory Reel (V-E Day) May 8 

6955 Lowe, Hite & Stanley— Film Vodvil (11 m.) .May 11 

6859 Screen Snapshots No. 9 (9'/ 2 m.) May 17 

6901 A Harbor Goes to France — Panoramic 

(10 m.) May 18 

6659 Community Sings No. 9 (10 m.) May 25 

6502 Rippling Romance — Col. Rhap. (8 m.) ....June 21 

6660 Community Sings No. 10 June 29 

6808 Hi Ho Rodeo — Sports (re.) July 22 

6704 Booby Socks — Phantasy July 12 

6503 Fiesta Time— Col. Rhapsody (71/ 2 m.) July 12 

6753 Kukunuts — Fox & Crow (6|/ 2 m.) July 26 

6661 Community Sings No. 11 July 26 

6860 Screen Snapshots No. 10 (10 m.) July 27 

6809 Chips and Putts — Sports Aug. 10 

Columbia — Two Reels 

6160 The Monster ii the Ape (15 episodes) Apr. 20 

6433 Pistol Packin' Nitwits — Brendel ( 17 m.) . . . .May 4 

6411 Wife Decoy — Hugh Herbert ( 17 m.) June 1 

6423 The Jury Goes Round 'N Round — Vera Vague 

(18 m.) June 15 

6405 Idiots Deluxe — Stooges (17l/ 2 m.) July 20 

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer — One Reel 

1943- 44 

K-576 The Seasaw and the Shoes — Pass. Par. 

(10 m.) May 5 

(End of 1943-44 Season) 

1944- 45 

T-611 Shrines of Yucatan— Travcltalk (9 m.) Feb. 24 

T-612 See El Salvador— Travcltalk (10 m.) Mar. 31 

W-631 The Mouse Comes to Dinner— Cartoon 

(7 m.) May 5 

W-632 Mouse in Manhattan — Cartoon (8 m.) . . . .July 7 



^HARRISON'S REPORTS Index -- First Half of 1945, Page D 



Metro-Gold wyn-Mayer — Two Reels 
1943-44 

A-502 Fall Guy— Special (18|/ 2 m.) Apr. 14 

A-503 The Last Installment— Special (18 m.) May 5 

A-504 Phantoms, Inc. — Special (17 m.) June 9 

(End of 1943-44 Season) 

Paramount — One Reel 

J4-4 Popular Science No. 4 (10 m.) Apr. 6 

D4-4 Beau Ties — Little Lulu (7 m.) Apr. 20 

E4-4 Shape Ahoy — Popeye (6 m.) Apr. 27 

R4-7 White Rhapsody — Sportlight (9 m.) May 4 

P4-5 A Lamh in a Jam!) — Noveltoon (6 m.) May 4 

L4-4 Unusual Occupations No. 4 (10 m.) May 11 

Y4'4 Talk of the Town — Speak, of Animals 

(9 m.) May 18 

U4-5 Jasper's Minstrels — Puppetoon (9 m.) May 2? 

D4-5 DafFyd'Hy Daddy— Little Lulu (7 m.) May 25 

J 4- 5 Popular Science No. 5 (10 m.) June 1 

E4-5 For Better or Nurse — Popeye (6 m.) June 8 

R4-8 Fan Fare — Sportlight (9 m.) June 8 

D4-6 Snap Happy — Little Lulu (7 m.) June 22 

P4-6 A Self Made Mongrel — Noveltoon June 29 

U4-6 Hatful of. Dreams — Puppetoon (9 m.) July 6 

L4-5 Unusual Occupations No. 5 (10 m.) July 13 

Y4-5 A Musical Way — Speaking of Animals (8m.) July 20 

R4-9 Canine-Feline Capers— Sportlight (9 m.) July 27 

U4-7 Jasper's Booby Traps — Puppetoon (8 m.)..Aug. 3 
J 4-6 Popular Science No. 6 (10 m.) Aug. 10 

Paramount — Two Reels 

FF4-4 Isle of Tabu — Musical Parade (17 m.) Apr. 13 

FF4-5 Boogie Woogie — Musical Parade (17 m.)..June 15 
FF4-6 You Hit the Spot— Musical Parade (17 m.).Aug. 17 

Republic — Two Reels 

482 Manhunt of Mystery Island — Bailey-Stirling 

(15 episodes) Mar. 17 

483 Federal Operator 99 (12 episodes) Lamont- 

Talbot July 7 

RKO— One Reel 

54108 Dog Watch— Disney (7 m.) Mar. 16 

54206 Flicker Flashbacks No. 6 (8 m.) Apr. 13 

54309 Timber Doodles — Sportscope (8 m.) Apr. 20 

54110 African Diary — Disney (7 m.) Apr. 20 

54111 Donald's Crime — Disney (7 m.) May 11 

54310 West Point Winners — Sportscope ( m.). . .May 18 

RKO — Two Reels 

53106 Guam-Salvaged Island — This is America 

(17 min.) Apr. 13 

53107 Dress Parade — This Is America (16 m.). . .May 4 
53704 Let's Go Stepping — Leon Errol ( 17 m.) ....May 4 

53108 Battle of Supply— This is America (18 m.) . June 1 

Twentieth Century-Fox — One Reel 

5259 Isle of Romance — Adventure (8 m.) May 4 

5516 Mother Goose Nightmare — Terrytoon 

(7 m.) May 11 

5517 Smoky Joe — Terrytoon (7 m.) May 25 

5354 Down the Fairway — Sports (8m.) June 1 

5518 The Silver Streak — Terrytoon (7 min.) ... .June 8 
5902 Do You Remember? — Lew Lahr (8m.) 

(formerly "Good Old Days".) June 22 

5519 Aesops Fable — The Mosquito — Terrytoon 

(7 m.) June 29 

5201 What it Takes to Make a Star — Adventure 

(formerly "Modeling for Money") (8 m.). July 6 
5 520 Mighty Mouse 6? the Wolf — Terry. (7 m.) . . .July 20 
5261 The Empire State — Adventure (8 m.) July 27 

Twentieth Century-Fox — Two Reels 

Vol.11 No. 9 — -The Returning Veteran — March of 

Time (18 min.) Apr. 20 

Vol. 11 No. 10 — Spotlight on Congress- 
March of Time (16 m.) May 18 

Vol. 11 No. 11— Teen Age Girls- 
March of Time (17 m.) June 15 

Universal — One Reel 

9355 Your National Gallery — Var. Views (9 m.).Apr. 23 
9238 Woody Dines Out — Cartune (7 m.) May 14 

9375 Author in Babyland— Per. Odd. (9 m.) May 14 

9376 Broadway Farmer— Per. Odd. (9 m.) May 28 

9356 Wingmen of Tomorrow — Var. Views (9 m.) .June 4 
9238 Crow Crazy— Cartune (7 m.) July 9 



Universal — Two Reels 

9881 The Master Key— Stone Wiley (13 

episodes) Apr. 24 

9127 Rockabye Rhythm— Musical (15 m.) June 20 

9128 Artistry in Rhythm— Musical (15 m.) July 18 

Secret Agent X-9 — 13 episodes July 24 

9129 Waikiki Melody— Musical (15 m.) Aug. 22 

Vitaphone — One Reel 

1723 Hare Trigger — Bugs Bunny (7 m.) May 5 

1608 Circus Band— Mel. Mas. (10 m.) May 1 

1507 Water Babies— Sports (10 m.) May 19 

1705 Ain't that Ducky — Looncy Tune (7 m.) . . . .May 19 

1405 Overseas Roundup No. 2 — Varieties ( 10 m.) .May 26 

1706 Gruesome Twosome — Mer. Mel. (7 m.) (re.) June 9 

1508 Mexican Sea Sports — Sports (10 m.) (re.).. June 9 

1509 Bahama Sea Sports — Sports (10 m.) (re.) . .June 23 

1609 Bands Across the Sea — Mel. Mas. (10 ra.). .June 23 

1510 Flivver Flying — Sports (10 m.) June 30 

1707 Talc of Two Mice — Looney Tune (7 m.)... .June 30 

1406 Overseas Roundup No. 3 — Varieties (10 m.).July 14 

1610 Yankee Doodle Daughters — Mel. Mas. 

(10 m.) July 21 

1311 Speakin" of the Weather— Hit. Par. (17 m.). .July 21 

1708 Wagon Wheels— Mer. Mel. (7 m.) July 28 

Vitaphone — Two Reels 

1111 Plantation Models — Featurette (20 m.)... .May 12 
1104 Coney Island Honeymoon — Special (20 m.).June 9 

1112 Learn and Live — Featurette (20 m.) July 7 



NEWSWEEKLY 
NEW YORK 
RELEASE DATES 



Pathe News 



Universal 



55191 

55292 

55193 

55294 

55195 

55296 

55197 

55298 

55199 

552100 

551101 

552102 

551103 



Sat. (O) . . 
Wed. (E) . 
Sat. (O) . . 
Wed. (E) . 
Sat. (O) . . 
Wed. (E) . 
Sat. (O) . . 
Wed. (E). 
Sat. (O). . 
Wed. (E) 
Sat. (O). 
Wed. (E) 
Sat. (O). 



.July 7 
.July 11 
.July 14 
.July 18 
.July 21 
.July 25 
.July 28 
Aug. 
Aug. 
Aug. 
Aug. 
Aug. 
Aug. 



1 
4 
a 
11 
15 
18 



Metrotone News 



412 


Thurs. (E) . 


..July 5 


413 


Tues. (O) . . 


. .July 10 


414 


Thurs. (E) . 


. .July 12 


415 


Tues. (O) . . 


..July 17 


416 


Thurs. (E) . 


..July 19 


417 


Tues. (O) . . 


. .July 24 


418 


Thurs. (E) . 


. July 26 


419 


Tues. (O) . . 


. .July 31 


420 


Thurs. (E). 


..Aug. 2 


421 


Tues. (O) . 


, .Aug. 7 


422 


Thurs. (E). 


..Aug. 9 


423 


Tues. (O) . 


. .Aug. 14 


424 


Thurs. (E). 


. .Aug. 16 



286 Thurs. (E) . 

287 Tues. (O) . . 

288 Thurs. (E) . 

289 Tues. (O) . . 

290 Thurs. (E) . 

291 Tues. (O) . . 

292 Thurs. (E) . 

293 Tues. (O) . . 

294 Thurs. (E) . . 

295 Tues. (O) . . 

296 Thurs. (E) . . 

297 Tues. (O) . . 

298 Thurs. (E) . . 



..July 5 
. .July 10 
. .July 12 
. July 17 
. July 19 
. July 24 
. July 26 
. July 31 
.Aug. 2 
• Aug. 7 
.Aug. 9 
.Aug. 14 
.Aug. 16 



Paramount News 



88 Thurs. (E) . . 

89 Sunday (O) . 

90 Thurs. (E) . . 

91 Sunday (O) . 

92 Thurs. (E) . . 

93 Sunday (O) . 

94 Thurs. (E) . . 

95 Sunday (O) . 

96 Thurs. (E) . . 

97 Sunday (O) . 

98 Thurs. (E) . . 

99 Sunday (O) . 

100 Thurs. (E). 



July 5 
July 8 
July 12 
July 15 
July 19 
. July 22 
. July 26 
. . July 29 
..Aug. 2 
..Aug. 5 
..Aug. 9 
. .Aug. 12 
. .Aug. 16 



Fox Movietone 

88 Thurs. (E) J.uly 5 

89 Tues. (O) July 10 

90 Thurs. (E) July 12 

91 Tues. (O) July 17 

92 Thurs. (E) July 19 

93 Tues. (O) July 24 

94 Thurs. (E) July 26 

95 Tues. (O) July 31 

96 Thurs. (E) Aug. 2 

97 Tues. (O) Aug. 7 

98 Thurs. (E) Aug. 9 

99 Tues. (O) Aug. 14 

100 Thurs. (E)... Aug. 16 



All American News 

141 Friday July 6 

142 Friday July 13 

143 Friday July 20 

144 Friday July 27 

145 Friday Aug. 3 

146 Friday Aug. 10 

147 Friday Aug. 17 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 



Harrison's Reports 

Yearly Subscription Rates: 1270 SIXTH AVENUE Published Weekly by 

United States $15.00 R«« m 1R19 Harrison's Reports, Inc., 

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A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 

Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, JULY 14, 1945 No. 28 



EXPEDITING THE NEW YORK 
ANTI-TRUST SUIT 

The first meeting of the three judges appointed re 
cently to hear the Government's anti-trust suit against 
the five major distributors took place last Tuesday, in 
the New York Federal District Court, where they 
heard a motion by the distributor-defendants to com- 
pel the Government to answer more fully interroga- 
tories they had previously submitted. 

The Department of Justice maintained that the an- 
swers it had already given were sufficient, in view of 
the fact that the Government intended to present at 
the trial only a prima facie documentary case. 

The Court agreed with the Department, and de- 
cided to hold the motion in abeyance, giving the de- 
fendants the right to ask for another hearing, on five 
days notice, if the Department should change its pres- 
ent plan of trial procedure. 

During the argument on the motion, Robert L. 
Wright, special assistant to the U. S. Attorney Gen- 
eral, revealed the Government's intention to present, 
through documentary evidence, a prima facie case to 
prove that the five consenting distributors have a 
monopoly on distribution and exhibition in that, 
through cross-licensing, availability of product, and 
restrictions on minimum admissions, they control first- 
run theatres in 92 cities with a population of 100,000 
and over, and that they dominate exhibition in 432 
situations in the country. 

Wright reiterated the Government's contention 
that the only remedy was a complete separation of 
the defendants' theatre operating business from their 
production and distribution activities, as well as an 
injunction against certain of their trade practices. 

According to a report by Milton Livingston, staff 
correspondent of Motion Picture Daily, "the whole 
tone of the hearing before the three-judge statutory 
court, composed of Judge Augustus N. Hand, who 
presided, and Judges Henry W. Goddard and John 
Bright, was of stern admonition to 'get things going' 
in the action, which has been pending for seven years, 
since July 20, 1938, with the Department of Justice 
having first filed its complaint on that date." 

"Judge Hand warned," continued the report, "that 
there must be a greater spirit of cooperation between 
the two parties, or else the Court would take 'appro- 
priate action.' He indicated that he might even order 
examinations before trial, and declared that the three 
judges 'do not intend to spend the rest of their lives 
hearing the case'." 

Most of you will recall that, last month, when the 
U. S. Attorney General filed a certificate with the 
Court, under the Expediting Act, certifying that the 



case was of general public importance and making 
mandatory its hearing by a three-judge court, the 
distributors' attorneys did not relish the move. As re- 
ported in the June 23 issue of this paper, some of 
these attorneys resented the appointment of three 
judges as a departure from accepted procedure, and 
they saw little likelihood of a speedier trial as a result 
of the Government's move. As a matter of fact, they 
took pains to point out just why a three-judge court 
might delay and slow up the trial. 

These attorneys apparently based their assumption 
on the hope that the newly-appointed judges would 
continue to tolerate the legalistic antics by which the 
case had been prolonged since it was filed in 1938. But 
it is evident from the report in Motion Picture Daily 
that Judge Hand, the presiding judge, will not put 
up with any more delaying tactics. 

As said before in these columns, a case certified to 
be heard by a three-judge court must, under the 
statute, be "in every way expedited." And it certainly 
appears as if Judge Hand is determined to streamline 
the proceedings in a manner that will make them 
most expeditious. 

Regardless of the ultimate outcome of the case, one 
thing is certain, that the sooner the case is speeded to 
a conclusion, the sooner will the entire industry 
benefit. 



AN EXCELLENT SUGGESTION 

Under the heading, "Why Not Try Home Talent?" 
Abram F. Myers, general counsel of Allied States 
Association, has issued the following bulletin, dated 
July 5: 

"Now that the industry faces reorganization to 
conform to the Sherman Act, there is a mad scramble 
among the producers to secure 'names' to front for 
them in the trying days ahead. SIMPP landed a big 
one in Donald Nelson, who now is familiarising him- 
self with industry problems. The MPPDA is reported 
to be angling for Eric Johnston who, so far, has not 
risen to the bait. According to a recent magazine ar- 
ticle, if it isn't Johnston, it will be another 'name,' 
possibly a political figure. 

"The affiliated producers probably will not relish 
suggestions from Allied in this matter and certainly 
the subject of these remarks will not thank us for our 
trouble. But a reading of the Congressional Record 
for June 28 reminds us that the affiliated interests 
have in their own ranks a man of distinction and 
prestige who would admirably fill the bill as head of 
MPPDA. He would not be a mere 'front,' but a real 
(Continued on last page) 



« 



110 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



July 14, 1945 



"Road to Alcatraz" with Robert Lowery 
and June Storey 

(Republic, July 10; time, 60 min.) 

A fair program murder mystery melodrama. Parts 
of it are too far-fetched to he plausible; but persons 
who arc not too particular about such defects should 
be entertained, for the action moves at a steady pace, 
and it has considerable suspense. The story revolves 
around a young attorney, who, suspected of murder- 
ing his law partner, doubts his own innocence because 
he walked in his sleep and could not account for his 
movements on the night of the crime. The manner in 
which he traps the murderer and clears himself holds 
one's interest throughout. Unlike the title suggests, 
the picture is void of gangster doings: — 

Robert Lowery, an attorney, and June Storey, his 
wife, are elated when they receive word that their in- 
vestment in a business deal shared by Lowery, William 
Forrest, his partner, Charles Gordon, a college friend, 
and Clarence Kolb, a financier, would result in hand- 
some profits. Lowery, a sleepwalker, awakes on the 
following morning and finds that the condition of his 
clothes indicate that he had visited Forrest during the 
night. Bewildered, he goes to Forrest's apartment, 
where he finds the man murdered amid evidence that 
points to him as the killer. Recalling that, by the terms 
of the deal, the death of one of the partners would 
increase the profits of the others, Lowery conceals the 
evidence and decides to invctsigate. He communicates 
with Gordon and, through him, finds reason to suspect 
Kolb of the murder. He visits Kolb's home and dis- 
covers what he considers conclusive evidence of the 
man's guilt. Meanwhile the police decide that Lowery 
was guilty and hurry to his home to arrest him. Low- 
ery, seeking a chance to talk with Gordon, escapes 
from the police and, in the basement of his home, 
picks up what he believes to be his dropped fraternity 
pin. In Gordon's hotel room, while analyzing the 
crime, Lowery notices that he was wearing his pin and 
realizes that the pin he had found belonged to Gor- 
don. Quickly, he concludes that Gordon had commit- 
ted the murder and had planted the evidence against 
him. Gordon, unmasked, tries to kill Lowery, but the 
young attorney is saved by the timely arrival of the 
police. 

Dwight V. Babcock and Jerry Sackheim wrote the 
screen play, Sidney Picker produced it, and Nick 
Grinde directed it. The cast includes Grant Withers, 
Iris Adrian and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"And Then There Were None" with 
Barry Fitzgerald, Louis Hayward 
and Walter Huston 

(20th Century-Fox, September; time, 97 min.) 
Based on Agatha Christie's widely-read story of the 
same title, which was produced as a Broadway play 
under the title, "Ten Little Indains," this murder 
mystery melodrama is a good entertainment of its 
type. The story unfolds in an interesting manner, and 
excitement and suspense are well sustained through- 
out since all the characters are cloaked in an air of 
mystery, and one does not learn the murderer's ident- 
ity until the very end. The story has its setting in a 
lonely house on an isolated island, and it contains all 
the eerie effects generaly employed in thrillers. The 
second half, in which the mystery thickens, is the most 



exciting, particularly in the closing scenes, where 
Louis Hayward, through a clever ruse, traps the 
murderer. It is the sort of picture that should be seen 
from the beginning, and exhibitors should urge their 
patrons not to disclose the ending to their friends so 
that they, too, may enjoy the surprise climax. The 
acting is good, and the picture has been produced 
well. 

The story revolves around ten assorted people, un- 
known to each other, who are tricked into visiting 
the home of a stranger on a lonely island off the Eng- 
lish coast. Once on the island, they find their mysteri- 
ous host absent, but at dinner the ten guests are 
startled by a voice, which identifies itself as that of 
the host and which announces that each of them is to 
be punished by death, because specific crimes each had 
committed were unprovable by the rules of legal evi- 
dence. Shortly after the accusations, the guests insti- 
tute a search for their mysterious host. Their search 
proves fruitless, and they soon learn that there were 
no means by which they could leave the island. They 
find a statue of ten little Indian figures and, on the 
piano, they also find a copy of the "Ten Little In- 
dians" nursery rhyme. One by one, each of the guests 
meets sudden death mysteriously, each dying in ac- 
cordance with the words of the nursery rhyme, and 
after each death one of the Indian figures disappears. 
Gripped by fear, the remaining guests suspect one an- 
other until all are murdered but two — Louis Hayward 
and June Duprez, who loved each other. Hayward, 
through a clever ruse, clears up the mystery by trap- 
ping one of the guests, Barry Fitzgerald, an erratic 
judge with a distorted sense of justice, who had 
feigned his own murder in order to commit the other 
killings undetected. He dies by his own hand. 

Dudley Nichols wrote the screen play, and Rene 
Clair produced and directed it. The cast includes 
Roland Young, C. Aubrey Smith, Judith Anderson, 
Mischa Auer, Richard Haydn, Queenie Leonard and 
others. It is a Popular Pictures, Inc., production. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"The Beautiful Cheat" with Noah Beery, Jr. 
and Bonita Granville 

(Universal, July 20; time, 59 min.) 

Just a mildly amusing program comedy, with some 
music. There is very little to the plot, which concerns 
itself with a professor who studies a wayward girl in 
preparation for a book on sociology, without realizing 
that his subject was masquerading as a delinquent. A 
few of the situations are amusing, but for the most 
part the comedy is dull. The love interest is ineffective, 
and there is no human interest since none of the char- 
acters are presented in an appealing manner. The 
outcome is quite obvious, an there is nothing to the 
story to really hold one's interest: — 

Noah Beery, Jr., a young professor, asks Edward 
Fielding, an associate, to find a wayward girl who 
would consent to reside in his home so that he could 
study her in preparation for a new book on sociology. 
Unable to find a proper subject, Fielding facetiously 
arranges with Bonita Granville, a secretary in a deten- 
tion home, to pose as a delinquent. Bonita, pretending 
to be a youthful miscreant, upsets Beery 's household 
and infuriates his spinster sisters (Margaret Irving 
and Sarah Selby) , as well as Irene Ryan, his middle- 
aged secretary. Beery becomes fond of Boruta and de- 



July 14, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



111 



cides to adopt her, but, when he learns from his at- 
torney that married couples only can adopt children, 
he proposes to his secretary. Bonita, who had fallen 
in love with Beery, learns of the impending marriage 
and leaves him. Later, when she discovers his reason 
for proposing to Irene, she arranges to meet him at a 
night-club to reveal the truth about herself. While 
waiting at the club for Bonita, Beery becomes involved 
with Carol Hughes, a brazen night-club singer, and 
is caught by Irene, who cancels her engagement to 
him. He promptly proposes to Carol, but regrets his 
haste when Bonita arrives and reveals that she was 
old enough to marry him herself. Beery 's sisters take 
matters in hand and, by threatening Carol, get her to 
release Beery from his proposal, leaving him free to 
wed Bonita. 

Ben Markson wrote the screen play, and Charles 
Barton produced and directed it. The cast includes 
Edward Gargan and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



"On Stage Everybody" with Peggy Ryan 
and Jack Oakie 

(Universal, July 13; time, 75 min.) 

Fair. It is a lively comedy with music, but it does 
not rise above the level of program fare. Its chief ap- 
peal will probably be to the younger element, for it 
has plentiful music of the popular type. Not much 
can be said for the story, which is of the backstage 
variety, for it is rather silly. Moreover, it serves for 
the most part as a prelude to the musical sequences. 
The best parts of the picture are the danee numbers 
executed expertly by Peggy Ryan and by Johnny 
Coy, the young man who danced sensationally in 
"That's the Spirit." The antics of Jack Oakie, as a 
veteran vaudevillian with an aversion to radio, are oc- 
casionally funny. Much of the comedy, however, is 
ineffective, because of its ridiculousness. The story, 
in part, has been suggested by the former radio pro- 
gram, of the same title, which served to introduce 
new talent on the air: — 

Informed by the manager of a small-town burlesque 
theatre that he and his daughter (Peggy Ryan) must 
participate in a radio program sponsored by the 
theatre, Oakie, who blamed radio for the downfall of 
vaudeville, quits the show. He and Peggy return to 
New York, where their friends urge them to accept 
jobs in a department store. Reporting for work, Oakie 
is assigned to the radio department. He goes beserk, 
smashing most of the radios before he is arrested and 
put in jail. Otto Kruger, Peggy's wealthy maternal 
grandfather, who owned an important broadcasting 
company, bails Oakie out of jail and convinces him 
that Peggy should suffer no longer because of his 
"radiophobia." Oakie consents to send Peggy to live 
with Kruger. Left to himself, Oakie retires to an 
actors' home. There, he is finally won over to radio 
by a World Series broadcast, and he conceives an 
idea for a radio program that would present both old 
and new talent. With Peggy's help, he sells the idea 
to Kruger, who agrees to give the new show a trial. 
The program is given the title, "On Stage Everybody" 
and, with Oakie as master of ceremonies, it becomes 
an immediate success. 

Warren Wilson and Oscar Brodncy wrote the 
screen play, Mr. Wilson produced it, and Jean Yar- 
brough directed it. Lou Goldberg was associate pro- 



ducer. The cast includes, among others, Julie London, 
Esther Dale, Wallace Ford, Milburn Stone, the King 
Sisters, and the ten winners of the "Oh Stage Every- 
body" radio contest as themselves. 
Unobjectionable morally. 

"Her Highness and the Bellboy" with 
Hedy Lamarr, Robert Walker 
and June Allyson 

(MGM, no release date set; time, 108 min.) 

Fairly good. The story, which revolves around a 
princess from a mythical European country, and 
around a New York bellboy who imagines that she is 
in love with him, might be classed as a modern fairy 
tale, but, if one accepts the story for what it is, one 
should find it pleasurable, for it is a pleasant entertain- 
ment, with considerable human interest and pathos, 
and with delightful comedy. While all the main char- 
acters are pleasant, the sympathy of the spectator is 
centered mainly around June Allyson, a sensitive, 
bedridden invalid, whose deep love the bellboy fails 
to recognize until the end. One sequence, depicting 
a fairy tale dream of June's, in which she dances gaily, 
is impressive. Another sequence, which is highly amus- 
ing, is the one where the princess (Hedy Lamarr) and 
the bellboy (Robert Walker) become involved in a 
free-for-all barroom brawl, with the princess landing 
in jail. The picture is aided considerably by the good 
performances of the cast. The action slows down oc- 
casionally, and some judicious cutting, particularly 
at the beginning, would be helpful : — - 

Hedy visits New York, hoping to meet Warner 
Anderson, an American newspaperman, with whom 
she had fallen in love when he visited her country six 
years previously. At her hotel, Walker mistakes her 
for a maid and almost loses his job, but Hedy, amused, 
asks the hotel manager to assign him as her personal 
attendant. Hedy arranges a meeting with Anderson, 
who, realizing that her royal status would mar their 
happiness, purposely informs her that his love had 
cooled. Meanwhile Walker, misunderstanding Hedy's 
kindly interest, conceives the idea that she had fallen 
in love with him, much to the distress of June Allyson, 
who loved him deeply and who looked forward to his 
daily visits at her bedside. Hedy, seeking to meet An- 
derson once again, asks Walker to take her to a bar- 
room, where Anderson did most of his work. There, 
they become involved in a brawl, and Hedy, along 
with others, is taken to jail. Bailed out by Anderson, 
Hedy returns to her hotel and learns that her uncle, 
the king, was dead, and that she was now queen. She 
prepares to leave for Europe, and informs Walker 
that he may accompany her if he wishes. Mistaking 
her kindness for a proposal of marriage, Walker is 
elated. When he goes to say goodbye to June, how- 
ever, he realizes that he loved her and not the princess. 
He returns to the hotel and informs Hedy that she 
must give him up. Hedy, realizing that Walker, in 
order to enjoy real happiness, had rejected what he 
thought was his chance to be a king, decides to follow 
his example — she adbicates in order to marry An- 
derson. 

Richard Council and Gladys Lehman wrote the 
screen play, Joe Pasternak produced it, and Richard 
Thorpe directed it. The cast includes "Rags" Rag 
lund, Girl Esmond, Agnes Moorehead and others. 

Unobjectionable morally. 



112 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



July 14, 1945 



leader and he would not have to take time out to learn 
the business. 

"We refer to Hon. Frank C. Walker, who has just 
retired as Postmaster General of the United States. 

"The choice of the Postmaster General and Chair- 
man of the dominant political party conforms to a 
pattern. The tribute paid Mr. Walker in the House 
of Representatives attest his high standing in Govern- 
ment circles. He is popular in all branches of the in- 
dustry and knows how to get along with people. Allied 
leaders who participated in the 5-5-5 Conference re- 
member that while they did not always see eye-to-eye 
with Mr. Walker, they never lost their respect for 
him, or their tempers. With Mr. Walker at the head, 
independent producers, distributors and exhibitors 
could resume carrying their problems to 44th Street 
with assurance of courteous treatment and open- 
minded consideration." 

There is little that I can add to Mr. Myers' excel- 
lent suggestion that Frank C. Walker be offered the 
leadership of the MPPDA. If the MPPDA is going to 
make a change — and a change is needed badly — it 
cannot hope to choose a better leader than Mr. Walk- 
er, who has earned the respect of every branch of the 
industry, and whose qualifications for the post now 
held by Will Hays have been so well outlined by Mr. 
Myers. 

It has been my privilege to know Frank Walker 
personally. And to know the man is but to have an 
added reason for concurring heartily in what Mr. 
Myers has had to say of him. I know that his ac- 
ceptance of the MPPDA leadership, should that or- 
ganization be astute enough to offer the post to him, 
would be most beneficial to the industry as a whole. 



MPTOA LOSES A MEMBER 

Warner Brothers Theatres, which for many years 
has been an associate member of the Motion Picture 
Theatre Owners of America, has resigned from that 
organization, effective July 1. 

Ed Kuykendall, president of the MPTOA, who an- 
nounced the resignation in a press release, said that 
no reason was given for Warners' withdrawal of their 
support and cooperation from his "national organiza- 
tion, which is now composed of 16 state and regional 
associations of theatre owners composed largely of 
independent exhibitors, but in which the important 
affiliated circuits have a special associate membership." 

Pity poor Ed Kuykendall, for the resignation of the 
Warner Brothers theatres is indeed a bitter blow to 
his hybrid exhibitor organization, which, as most of 
you know, is producer-controlled, by virtue of the 
fact that the money for its upkeep comes from the 
producers' coffers, in the form of dues paid by the 
theatres they own. 

Kuykendall says that no reason was given for the 
withdrawal. The reason however is obvious, not only 
to Kuykendall, but also to every informed industry- 
ite. It relates back to the action that Kuykendall took 
at Washington, in April 1944, when he visited Tom 
Clark, the then assistant attorney general in charge 
of the anti-trust division, and urged him to scrap the 
Consent Decree and to proceed with the prosecution 
of the anti-trust case against the defendant-distribu- 
tors, at the same time prohibiting the affiliated cir- 



cuits from expanding their theatre holdings. Kuyken- 
dall recommended also that, in the event the De- 
partment of Justice should feel it inadvisable to scrap 
the Decree, it should include in an amended decree 
certain stipulations (which he specified) that might 
have benefitted the independent exhibitors immensely 
if they had been adopted. 

The recommendations Kuykendall made to the De- 
partment of Justice were so detrimental to the inter- 
est of the producers — his bosses — that his motive 
puzzled me, and I said so in these columns. 

Shortly thereafter, as a result of Kuykendall's ac- 
tion, Joseph Bernhard, head of Warner Brothers' 
theatre department, resigned as a member of the 
MPTOA's board of directors. Immediately, Ed "craw- 
fished"; in an effort to appease Bernhard and probably 
other affiliated members of the board, he issued a 
bulletin to the effect that he had presented to the De- 
partment of Justice the views of his organization's in- 
dependent members only, and that neither the affili- 
ated nor the partly affiliated members were consulted 
in the matter. Ed's statement was a masterpiece of 
"double talk," a futile effort to bring Bernhard back 
into the ranks. 

A few weeks later I learned from authoritative 
sources that Ed had called a meeting of the unaffiliated 
members of the MPTOA board of directors with a 
view to influencing them to compose a petition to the 
Department of Justice requesting that it drop the 
anti-trust suit against the major companies and that it 
grant to the independent exhibitors just enough re- 
forms to appease them. But Kuykendall's board mem- 
bers, peeved by the excessive rentals they had to pay 
for film, refused to go along with the plan, and they 
drafted an entirely different petition, leaving Kuyken- 
dall in a position from which he could not retreat. 

In discussing Kuykendall's action in the April 22, 
1944 issue of this paper, I said that "if Kuykendall 
had sought the advice of a grammar school child, he 
would have been told that his action would prove dis- 
astrous to his organization's finances." I said also that 
"if any more resignations take place, I fear that Ed 
Kuykendall's meal ticket will be in danger, unless, of 
course, the remaining affiliated circuits increase their 
contributions so as to cover up the loss." Ed apparently 
realized the danger, for since that time not one of his 
numerous bulletins has contained any statement that 
might in any way displease his affiliated members. 

Before closing this piece, I want to state, as I have 
often stated, that Kuykendall's claim that his organi- 
zation is composed "largely of independent exhibitors" 
is just so much "bunk" aimed at painting the MPTOA 
as representative of bona fide independent exhibitors. 
It is true that some independent exhibitors belong to 
his organization, but they are so few in number that I 
doubt if their combined dues amount to more than a 
few thousand dollars, which is infinitesimal when com- 
pared to the many thousands of dollars poured into 
the organization's treasury by the producers' affiliated 
theatres for the purpose of using it as a "front." 

Obviously, it does not require great imagination to 
understand that Kuykendall and the other MPTOA 
representatives must do the producers' bidding lest 
they put an end to all financial support. 

And the proof of it is Warners' resignation. 



Entered as second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 

Harrison's Reports 

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A REVIEWING SERVICE FREE FROM THE INFLUENCE OF FILM ADVERTISING 

Vol. XXVII SATURDAY, JULY 21, 1945 No. 29 



NO REISSUES BY 
METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER 

William F. Rodgers, vice-president and general 
sales manager of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, has an- 
nounced that his company will not sell any reissues in 
conjunction with its new season's product. 

Speaking to his sales staff at a special mid-season 
meeting held in Chicago last week, Rodgers stated 
that last year his company had tried out two reissues 
("Naughty Marietta" and "Waterloo Bridge") and 
that, although these reissues had not been entirely 
disappointing from the standpoint of sales, they con- 
flicted with new releases and interfered with the com- 
pany's star-grooming policy. 

Bill Rodgers' move is a step in the right direction, 
and he is to be congratulated. 

This paper has maintained for many months that 
one of the worst distributor abuses to have come out 
of the war-time operations of the industry has been 
the injudicious though profitable (for the distributors) 
use of critical raw film stock for the making of new 
prints of reissues. They filled no public need; they 
were unwanted by exhibitors; and to add insult to 
injury, they were given life only by the use of raw 
stock in which the exhibitors had an undeniable stake. 

Unhampered by regulatory restrictions, the pro- 
ducer-distributors have been and still are in a position 
to juggle their raw stock allocations in a manner aimed 
at perpetuating a "seller's market." 

The pattern is clear: By releasing fewer pictures 
and giving them extended playing time in the key 
runs, and by controlling the number of prints of new 
features in circulation, the producer-distributors have 
been able to tighten their control of the film market 
and to set the stage for the sale of reissues, the prints 
of which, in most cases, come from raw stock that 
could have been used for prints of new features. 

For example, Paramount, which has one of the larg- 
est backlogs of product in the industry, has used re- 
cently thousands of feet of rationed raw stock to make 
prints of "This Gun for Hire" and "Northwest 
Mounted Police," both reissues. Yet its new pictures 
repose in its vaults gathering dust, despite the ex- 
hibitors' crying need for them. Universal is another 
offender; it does not expect to complete its promised 
1944-45 program because of the raw stock shortage, 
yet somehow it managed to find sufficient raw stock 
to make hundreds of prints of "East Side of Heaven" 
and "Imitation of Life," two reissues presently in 
release. Twentieth Century-Fox, too, has used much 
critical raw stock for new prints of "Call of the 
Wild." And, as we go to press, word comes that 
Columbia has joined the party by announcing that 



"Mr. Deeds Goes to Town" and "Pennies from 
Heaven," two reissues, the prints of which are un- 
doubtedly new, are now available for bookings. 

These distributors might have had reason to use 
their rationed raw stock for prints of the aforemen- 
tioned reissues if the public were clamoring for them. 
But the public has not clamored for reissues. The dis- 
tributors are merely cashing in on a situation of their 
own making, without regard for the wishes of the 
public. And the exhibitors, plagued by the product 
shortage, find themselves faced with the choice of 
either booking the reissues at unheard of rentals, or 
closing their theatres until new product becomes avail- 
able. It is, in other words, the old "squeeze play." 

As already said, Bill Rodgers is to be congratulated 
for his wise decision to eliminate reissues from his 
sales program. It is to be hoped that the sales man- 
ager of the other companies will be astute enough to 
follow his lead. 



SELLING AWAY FROM CIRCUITS 

The latest of Samuel Goldwyn's battles over rental 
terms for one of his pictures is taking place with the 
Warner Brothers theatre circuit. 

According to reports in the trade papers, Goldwyn, 
because of his inability to obtain terms and preferred 
playing time suitable to him for "Wonder Man," has 
decided to sell the picture away from the Warner 
circuit, and he is now offering it to that circuit's com- 
petitors in all the territories affected. 

A controversy of similar nature is going on in the 
New York territory, where Paramount, unable to 
conclude satisfactory deals with the Skouras, Brandt, 
and Century circuits, three of the most powerful in- 
dependent theatre chains operating in the New York 
area, is making some of its pictures available to com- 
petitive subsequent-run theatres. 

When an affiliated circuit such as Warners, or 
powerful independent circuits such as Skouras, 
Brandt, and Century, come to the conclusion th.it 
the terms asked of them are so unreasonable as to 
make a deal unprofitable, their refusal to meet the 
terms should encourage every independent exhibitor, 
who finds himself in the same position, to take a 
similar stand. 

There have been other times when a distributor 
decided to sell away from some powerful circuit be- 
cause of inability to agree on terms. Immediately 
many independent exhibitors, who had been loud in 
their complaints that rental terms were too high, fell 
all over themselves in a rush to buy the pictures away 
(Continued on last page) 



114 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



July 21, 1945 



"Our Vines Have Tender Grapes" with 
Edward G. Robinson and Margaret O'Brien 

(MUM, no release date set; time, 105 mm.) 

A deeply appealing drama. It is a heart-warming, 
wholesome entertainment, excellent for the family 
tr.ide. The story, which revolves around a small Wis- 
consin farming community, is simple and episodic, 
but so well directed and acted, that one's attention is 
gripped from beginning to end. It has deep human 
interest, and some of the situations should bring tears 
to the eyes, while others should provoke hearty 
laughter. Most of the action centers around Margaret 
O'Brien and Jackie "Butch" Jenkins, rural young- 
sters, depicting their youthful joys, sorrow, squabbles 
and pranks. Both of them give splendid performances. 
A most gripping situation is the one in which the 
children nearly lose their lives when swept into a 
raging Hood stream while sailing in a bathtub. The 
emotional reaction of the parents when both children 
are pulled to safety is so touching that it brings a 
lump to one's throat. A highly dramatic sequence is 
the one in which the community comes to the aid of 
a proud neighbor, who had lost his life's work when 
his new barn burned to the ground. Edward G. Rob- 
inson, as Margaret's father, is excellent, winning one's 
sympathy by his good-heartedness and by his sympa- 
thetic understanding of the workings of his little 
daughter's mind. There is an appealing romance be- 
tween James Craig, as the local editor, and Frances 
Gilford, as the schoolteacher, who lend their efforts 
to bring good to the community. 

Briefly, the episodic-like story revolves around the 
day by day adventures of Margaret, and around her 
relationship with her parents — Robinson, her father, 
who worshipped her, and Agnes Moorehead, her 
mother, a practical sort, who was devoted to both of 
them. Shown arc Margaret's sorrow when she acci- 
dentally kills a squirrel, and her joy when her father, 
to console her, makes her a gift of a new-born calf; 
the happiness of the family when they exchange gifts 
on Christmas Day; Margaret's recital of the story of 
the Nativity in school; the children's near-tragedy 
when they sail a tin bathtub in the spring flood waters; 
and the collection taken in church to help the neigh- 
bor who lost his barn, and the meagre contributions 
until Margaret offers her precious calf, shaming the 
farmers into making big-hearted gifts of cattle and 
feed. All this is simply and movingly told. A by-plot 
concerns the desire of Miss Gifford to return to Mil- 
waukee because life in the small community seemed 
small and dull to her. Her love for Craig, however, 
and her eventual understanding of the community's 
spirit, cause her to change her mind. 

Dalton Trumbo wrote the screen play based on 
the book, of the same title, by George Victor Martin. 
Robert Sisk produced it, and Roy Rowland directed 
it. The cast includes Morris Carnovsky, Sara Haden, 
Dorothy Morris and others. 

"The Caribbean Mystery" 
with James Dunn 

(20th Century-Fox, September; time, 65 min.) 
A rather ordinary program murder-mystery melo- 
drama, but good enough to round out the lower half 
of a double bill where audiences are not too fussy 
about story material. The plot is loosely written, obvi- 
ous, and somewhat implausible, yet it manages to 
hold one's interest to a fair degree since it is not until 
the end that the mystery is solved. The melodramatic 
events in the closing scenes, during which the hero 
traps the murderer, holds one in suspense. James 



Dunn, who did such good work in "A Tree Grows in 
Brooklyn," plays the detective fairly well, but he is 
deserving of better material than this. There is prac- 
tically no comedy relief, and though there is some 
romantic interest it is of no importance: — 

Because of the strange disappearance of several 
people in the swamps of an island in the Caribbean 
Sea, Roy Gordon, governor of the island, asks James 
Dunn, a private American detective, to investigate 
the mystery. Several attempts are made on Dunn's life 
shortly after his arrival, and his assistant is murdered 
mysteriously. Sheila Ryan, a local hotel hostess, who 
had been a friend of the murdered man, informs Dunn 
that he had suspected that someone in the administra- 
tion was responsible for the strange disappearance of 
the missing men. Shortly after, Sheila, too, is murd- 
ered, and William Forrest, the island's chief of police, 
disappears. Dunn, on the strength of the information 
given to him by Sheila, travels into the jungle swamps 
and, with the aid of Eddie Ryan, the governor's son, 
discovers a hidden community where a band of men, 
led by Roy Roberts, had dug up buried pirate's gold 
and were about to leave the island with their loot. 
Dunn, establishing that the gang had disposed of the 
missing persons lest they learn the secret of the buried 
treasure, captures Roberts and rescues the police 
chief, who had been held prisoner. On their way back 
to town, the police chief wounds Roberts when he 
tries to make a getaway. Roberts dies, but Dunn, be- 
lieving that one of the island's officials had been 
Roberts' boss, keep the death a secret. He places the 
body in a local hospital room and informs the officials 
that Roberts, "wounded," would be in condition to 
talk that evening. Later, at the hospital, Dunn traps 
Reed Hadley, the island's coroner, in the act of stab- 
bing Roberts' lifeless body, and compels him to con- 
fess that he was the government official behind the 
scenes. 

Jack Andrews and Leonard Praskins wrote the 
screen play from the novel, "Murder in Trinidad," 
William Girard produced it, and Robert Webb di- 
rected it. Unobjectionable morally. 

"The Falcon in San Francisco" with 
Tom Conway and Robert Armstrong 

(RKO, no release date set; time, 66 min.) 
Hampered by a plot that becomes more confusing 
than intriguing, this latest of the "Falcon" mystery 
melodramas is moderately entertaining program fare. 
It should, however, prove exciting to those who do 
not object to far-fetched and implausible situations. 
The first half is rather slow, given more to talk than 
to action, but the second half picks up speed, holding 
one in suspense because of the danger to the "Falcon" 
as he seeks to unravel the mystery behind the several 
murders. Tom Conway, as the private investigator, 
gives his usual suave performance, and Edward 
Brophy, as his not-too-bright aide, is mildly amus- 
ing:— 

Conway, en route to San Francisco for a vacation, 
offers to take charge of seven-year-old Sharyn Mof- 
fett when her nurse is found murdered in her berth. 
While taking Sharyn to her home, Conway is arrested 
on a fake kidnapping charge and is subsequently 
bailed out by Faye Helm, head of a gang of silk 
thieves, who orders her henchmen to beat Conway as 
a warning to keep away from Sharyn and to make 
no effort to solve the nurse's murder. Conway, how- 
ever, determines to investigate. He visits Sharyn's 
home, where he finds evidence that the nurse's hus- 
band was first mate on a freight shipping line. Fol- 



July 21, 1945 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



115 



lowing up this clue, Conway learns that Robert Arm- 
strong, head of the line, was a former notorious gang' 
ster, and that Sharyn and her older sister, Rita 
Corday, were his daughters. Armstrong admits his 
identity and informs Conway that Faye's gang had 
compelled him to work with them under threat of 
exposing his past to Sharyn. He informs Conway also 
that the thieves were sailing that night on one of his 
ships with a cargo of stolen silk, and asks his aid in 
capturing them. Once aboard the ship, Armstrong 
knocks out the ship's engineer, leaving no one to 
watch the steam gauge, and reveals his intention to 
kill all aboard, including Conway, in order to preserve 
the secret of his identity. Conway, realising that Arm- 
strong had no intention of going straight and that he 
was guilty of the several murders that had occurred, 
creates a diversion and manages to get off the ship 
just before it explodes from excessive steam pres- 
sure, killing Armstrong and the thieves. 

Robert Kent and Ben Markson wrote the screen 
play, Maurice Geraghty produced it, and Joseph H. 
Lewis directed it. Unobjectionable morally. 

"Christmas in Connecticut" with 
Dennis Morgan and Barbara Stanwyck 

(Warner Bros., Aug. 11; time, 101 mm.) 

With a little less footage arid a bit more care in the 
treatment, this story might have been an hilarious 
farce. As it stands, it is fairly amusing. It may, how- 
ever, do better than average business on the strength 
of the players' popularity. The action revolves around 
Barbara Stanwyck, as a magazine feature writer, 
whose glowing articles about the idyllic life she led 
on a Connecticut farm with her husband and baby 
had won her a host of readers. The comedy is pro- 
voked by the complications that arise when her pub- 
lisher, unaware that she was unmarried and that she 
lived alone in a New York apartment, invites him- 
self and a young Navy officer to spend the Christmas 
holidays on her "farm." There are occasional mo- 
ments of high comedy as a result of Miss Stanwyck's 
efforts to carry on her deception, but these come too 
infrequently, causing one's interest to lag. One or 
two of the situations are somewhat suggestive, but 
they are not offensive: — 

In love with Dennis Morgan, a Navy officer, Joyce 
Compton, a nurse in a Naval hospital, seeks to instill 
in him a sense of domesticity in the hope that he will 
marry her. She writes to Sydney Greenstreet, Bar- 
bara's publisher, suggesting that Morgan be invited 
to spend a few days at Barbara's "farm." Green- 
street, sensing an opportunity to gain publicity and 
to increase his circulation, orders Barbara to enter- 
tain Morgan over the holidays, and invites himself 
along. Barbara, who got all her domestic information 
from S. Z. Sakall, a restaurateur, and from Reginald 
Gardiner, an architect, who owned the farm she 
wrote about, agrees to Greenstreet 's wishes lest he 
learn that she had perpetrated a hoax. In a complete 
panic, she agrees to marry Gardiner, who had pro- 
posed to her frequently, and arranges for the wed- 
ding to take place at the farm prior to the arrival of 
the guests. The guests, however, arrive prematurely, 
causing a postponement of the wedding. From then 
on matters become complicated; Barbara falls in love 
with Morgan and finds one excuse after another to 
postpone her marriage to Gardiner; and Morgan, in 
love with Barbara, does not know what to do about 
it because of her "marital status." After much con- 
fusion, during which Greenstreet discovers Barbara's 



duplicity, Barbara finds herself unemployed, but 
through the efforts of Sakall, whose cooking delighted 
Greenstreet, the publisher re-hires her at a substan- 
tial raise. Meanwhile Joyce had fallen in love with 
Frank Jenks, Morgan's buddy, leaving him free to 
marry Barbara. 

Lionel Houser and Adele Commandini wrote the 
screen play, William Jacobs produced it, and Peter 
Godfrey directed it. The cast includes Una O'Connor, 
Dick Elliott and others. Unobjectionable morally. 

"Anchors Aweigh" with Gene Kelly, 
Frank Sinatra and Kathryn Grayson 

(MGM, no release date set; time, 139 min.) 

Very good mass entertainment. Photographed in 
Technicolor, the production is extremely lavish, has 
good comedy, a romance, tuneful songs, and effective 
dancing. The story is thin, but it has some human 
interest, and there are so many humorous situations 
that one is kept laughing most of the way. The music 
ranges from classical to popular, featuring the bril- 
liant piano-playing of Jose Iturbi, the crystal-clear 
singing of Kathryn Grayson, and the "crooning" of 
Frank Sinatra, who, incidentally, should draw many 
additional squeals from his "bobby-sox" admirers be- 
cause of his dancing in one sequence. While each of 
these performers contributes much to the entertain- 
ment values, it is Gene Kelly who walks off with the 
honors; he not only joins Sinatra in singing a few 
songs, but he also figures importantly in the comedy 
relief, which he handles effectively, and his dancing 
is the most impressive thing about the picture, par- 
ticularly the sequence in which he dances with a car- 
toon character as a partner. It is a live action and 
animation sequence, superior to the technique de- 
veloped by Walt Disney in "The Three Caballeros." 
Most of the action takes place in Hollywood, with a 
few of the scenes staged on the MGM lot, giving 
the picture a colorful background:— 

Given a four-day leave from their ship, Kelly and 
Sinatra go to Hollywood in search of a good time. 
Sinatra, a shy Brooklyn boy, follows Kelly every- 
where, much to his annoyance. As Kelly ponders how 
to get rid of Sinatra, a policeman compels both of 
them to accompany him to a police station to help 
him with a little boy (Dean Stockwell), who had run 
away from home to join the Navy. The youngster 
agrees to go home if Kelly and Sinatra would ac- 
company him to meet his guardian aunt, Kathryn 
Grayson, a movie extra who hoped to become a 
famous singer. At the boy's home, Kelly, noticing 
that Sinatra was attracted to Kathryn, tries to further 
the romance by telling her that Sinatra was a good 
friend of Jose Iturbi, and that he could arrange a 
screen test for her. The boys, to make good this boast, 
soon find themselves spending most of their furlough 
in a futile attempt to meet Iturbi in order to arrange 
for the test. Meanwhile Kathryn meets Iturbi in the 
studio commissary and, assuming that he knew all 
about her, talks excitedly to him about the test. Iturbi, 
baffled at first, soon guesses what had happened, and 
he obligingly agrees to make good the boys' promise. 
As a result of her test, Kathryn becomes a star. It all 
ends with Kelly in Kathryn's arms, and with Sinatra 
in the arms of Pamela Bntton, a waitress from Brook- 
lyn, who spoke and understood his language. 

Isobcl Lennart wrote the screen play, Joe Pasternak 
produced it, and George Sidney directed it. The cast 
includes "Rags" Raglund, Billy Gilbert, Carlos Ram- 
irez and others. 



116 



HARRISON'S REPORTS 



July 21, 1945 



from their prior-run competitor, no matter how stiff 
the terms. 

Paying exhorbitant film rentals for the privilege of 
buying product away from a stronger competitor is, 
at best, only a temporary advantage, and frequently 
a costly one. In the long run, such action is definitely 
harmful, for it serves to defeat the independent ex- 
hibitors' constant fight tor "live-and let-live" rental 
terms. 

Here is an opportunity for the independent ex- 
hibitors to make known to the distributors their de- 
termination to bring film prices down. Don't rush to 
buy just because a distributor decides to sell away 
from your powerful competitor, unless, of course, 
the terms arc such as would leave you with a fair 
profit. Follow the lead of the circuits -hold out! Only 
then will the distributors be made to realize that 
rental terms must be brought down to an equitable 
level. 

RESTRICTING TRAVELING CARNIVALS 

During the past week, two exhibitors, each from 
a different part of the country, have written to me on 
the same subject — traveling carnivals that stop in 
their respective towns annually, affecting the at- 
tendance at their theatres to a considerable degree. 

One of these exhibitors points out that these carni- 
vals are permitted to operate within the limits of his 
town for a nominal license fee, and that, through low 
class side-shows, as well as gambling devices, they 
take out of the town thousands of dollars. Yet the 
small license fee paid by the carnival's operators is 
far from enough to reimburse the town for the police 
and fire protection provided during the carnival's stay, 
let alone the inestimable expense to the town in 
handling criminal violations bred by the carnival's 
operations. 

This same exhibitor adds that those who suffer 
most from the traveling shows are the town's legiti- 
mate merchants and business men, who have thous- 
ands of dollars invested in different enterprises, and 
who help in a large measure to support the town 
through their payment of different forms of taxes and 
of license fees. 

The other exhibitor, whose complaint is along the 
same lines as the first one, has asked me if I have 
knowledge of an ordinance that has been passed by 
any City Council, which, in effect, would impose 
a discouraging license fee, as well as limit the number 
of days a carnival may operate in a town. 

A check of my file on the subject discloses that 
such an ordinance was brought to my attention in 
1935, except that it does not place a limitation on the 
number of days a carnival may operate. The license 
fee, however, is discouraging enough to make an ex- 
tended stay unprofitable. The ordinance, which fol- 
lows, comes from a town of about fifteen thousand 
population, in the state of Ohio, but I am suppressing 
the name of the city because, at the time the ordinance 
was submitted to me, the City Clerk requested that 
I do so : 

"AN ORDINANCE TO REGULATE AND 
LICENSE CARNIVALS. 

"Be it ordained by the City Council of 

, State of Ohio. 



"That any person, persons, firm or corporation be- 
ing the owner, manager or proprietor of any traveling 
carnival or part thereof consisting of two or more 
shows, exhibitions or other services of public enter- 
tainment, before engaging in said business in the 

City of , Ohio, shall 

pay to the Mayor of said City three hundred dollars 
($300. 00) for the first day said business is conducted 
and three hundred dollars ($300.00) for each addi- 
tional day said business is conducted in said City, and 
said sum shall be payable for the use of said City for 
the purchasing of regulating said business in said City. 

"Any person, persons, firm or corporation violating 
any of the provisions of this ordinance, or failing to 
pay the license required by the terms of this ordinance, 
shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon 
conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than five 
hundred dollars ($500.00) nor more than one thous- 
and dollars ($1000.00)." 

From other correspondence in my file, I note that 
sever.il towns in Texas have passed ordinances to the 
effect that tent shows or carnivals using tents are con- 
sidered a fire hazard and, as such, are not permitted 
to operate within the town's limits. Such ordinances, 
of course, tend to eliminate the undesirable competi- 
tion insofar as the exhibitor is concerned, for, as a 
rule, the carnival's operators do not like to pitch their 
tents at a spot that is too distant from the main busi- 
ness center. 

The strongest argument an exhibitor can advance 
to induce his City Council to pass an ordinance mak- 
ing carnival license fees discouraging is that the police 
and fire protection required for such shows are costly 
to the city. 

If your city or state has any ordinance covering 
carnivals or any other type of traveling shows, send 
a copy to this office, so that I may pass the informa- 
tion along to other exhibitors. 



REASSURING NEWS 

Boxoffice reports that Tom C. Clark, in outlining 
his policy as the new Attorney General, and in dis- 
cussing the anti-trust laws, stated in a recent inter- 
view that "the spirit of the antitrust laws is intimately 
linked with the values which the free peoples of the 
world are fighting to maintain. American business, 
large or small, has nothing to fear from the Depart- 
ment of Justice so long as it operates by the rules; 
but those who get off-side must prepare to have the 
whistle blown on them and to pay the penalty . . . 
I shall be the people's lawyer — the people's lawyer 
to see that the innocent are protected, the guilty pun- 
ished, monopoly trusts and restraints in interstate 
business prevented, the public purse guarded, civil 
liberty preserved and constitutional guarantees held 
inviolate." 

Boxoffice reports also that the Government's anti- 
trust action against the major companies looms im- 
portant on Clark's agenda, and that he emphasized 
his determination to fight current anti-trust suits "all 
the way." 

If any of you has had any misgivings about how the 
new Attorney General feels about the forthcoming 
anti-trust trial in October, his statements should in- 
deed be reassuring. 



Entered aa second-class matter January 4, 1921, at the post office at New York, New York, under the act of March 3, 1879. 

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Vol. XXVII 



SATURDAY, JULY 28, 1945 



No. 30 



MGM POINTS THE WAY! 



Around this time of each year, when the sales forces of 
the different distributors convene to formulate sales policies 
in preparation for the new selling season, each of them 
invariably hands out glowing statements that stress the good 
will existing between the company and its customers, and, 
in most cases, the statements contain also some reference 
to the company's willingness to recognize the hardships of 
deserving exhibitors and to make adjustments if the facts 
warrant such action. 

Few of these statements mean anything, for most of them 
are cloaked in ambiguous language, such as might be used in 
addressing naive persons and infants, to whom promises can 
be made with the hope that they may be either overlooked 
or forgotten.